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It was that time on the Twinning Calendar when the Normans crossed La Manche to invade us once more. 

 

Around 30 French friends left the shores of of Normandy to spend a few days in the company of their Abbotskerswell Twinning member pals in Devon. Their coach performed the usual 20 point turn on Wilton Way to park in the Court Farm car park - you would think that it would do it automatically by now.

Lots of hugs and kisses and smiles were exchanged before everyone went off to their accommodation. Thursday night was spent in groups with hosts or in smaller gatherings catching up on news or getting to know each other.

On Friday, the French and a few Brits started at Abbotskerswell Primary School where the children performed their dances around the may-pole. It was a great show and lovely to see the children really enjoying their accomplishments. Then all headed back onto the coach and headed for Exeter. The first stop was the beautiful Exeter Cathedral where guided tours had been arranged. Afterwards we all made our way to the refectory for an excellent lunch - the bread and butter pudding went down particularly well and there were no reports of any food being left. After lunch it was free time for the guests to make their way around the city for a couple of hours. 

In the evening, as ever has been our tradition, we held a Safari Supper; in small groups we had wine and starters at various homes, and the headed around the village for mains after exchanging our English / French partners. Finally we all arrived at one venue, this year courtesy of Jenny and Derek Belotti, for puds, more wine and hours in good company.

Saturday is the day that our French friends spend with their hosts. Many started the day with a full English Breakfast at the Orchard Deli and Café before heading off in all directions. In the evening we all met up in the village hall for a buffet meal (it was sumptuous and outrageously healthy), music and dance. Thanks to the flowing of more wine, some interested dances were performed and observed. It's a good job that the kids weren't there - they would have been so embarrassed!

All to soon the visit was over. On Sunday morning, farewells were made, plans for return visits made and the 20 point turn was once again performed by the coach as the English waved their tearful goodbyes from outside, and the French reciprocated (we think) from inside the bus.