So far, we had travelled quite a considerable distance each day, but by now we were deep in France and ready to take things a little slower and visit places along the way.
We stopped in Autun, which had amazing pastries but lousy coffee and gave us the opportunity to buy some Dijon mustard. We visited the church and admired the paintings and sculpture, had a look at Napoleon's school and went to the Roman Amphitheatre. We took it in turns to stand in the centre and address the crowd. The acoustics were astonishing!
We stopped again in a medieval fortified town and watched lizards in the sunshine for a while and then carried on to Flavingy, the walled village where "Chocolat" was filmed. Famous for it's aniseed balls and my son was very happy to purchase some.
From there it wasn't far to Laignes where pulled up in a grassy area by a river. The children paddled, lost- and found - their shoes in the mud and we settled down to our nightly game of "Angry Birds". This had become one of the highlights of our trip: each night, after the children had washed up, we made tea, ate chocolate and played cards. "Angry Birds" was simple enough for all ages to enjoy, skillful enough to engage in, competitive enough to make us laugh and quick enough to enjoy a couple of rounds each night. It can be hard for young children (and grown-ups!) to lose a game and I was moved and impressed as my three showed increasing maturing, grace and humour in winning, losing and all the near misses. In particular, this was were my eldest shone, pursuing victory with passion, accepting set-back with aplomb and keeping us amused with his perfectly placed personality. Ten days and five people in a space no larger than my lounge could have been difficult and explosive but this holiday brought us all much closer together and Angry Birds made small contribution!