Click on photos to enlarge

Having sold Kirkby Fleetham at the end of 1987, we then had 9 months 'homeless'. We went to Australia late January and hired a camper van, driving up from Sydney to Cairns . We flew out the day of their 200th Centenary, : BA had loaned a plane from Air Lingus, not designed for long haul, and by the time we touched down in Canberra, I was doubled up / paralysed, and most unwilling to get on the short hop back to Sydney!!

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We visited the Mortimers at their Art School near Orange, stayed a night with Lyn and met up with Stephen's godfather, Mike(but never heard from him again after this!) . Then we set off north along the coast, chancing upon a turtle nesting beach one night- a wondrous experience. We were disappointed in the quality of the campsites: these were nearly always full of full time residents, not really tourist camps

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We made a detour to some distant Grant relatives- Dr John Prior?- and were made very welcome: & sent on our way with an abundance of plums!

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.We took a 4x4 expedition and drove along the never ending sandy beaches of Fraser Island

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Further north we ventured out to a couple of islands- Brampton and Fraser, staying overnight in these wondrous wildernesses.


After reaching Cairns we flew home

We visited Ben & Gina in Steyning

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At Easter we took a boat along the Canal du Midi with the children

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Link to my diary of Canal du Midi Holiday- with inserts from Stephen's diary


Joanna was confirmed in June: we also attended her Sports Day at Queen Mary's ( by then at Baldersby Park,Thirsk) and Stephen's Open Day at Winchester


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Then we went up to Scotland and hired a cruiser on Loch Goil for a week.

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We exchanged contracts on Chadlington Manor in June

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: Joanna refused to come and went to grandparents. Pam & Alain Bourgeois were the hosts. We had a gite a few miles away from their house


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We also went to Ireland in the summer holidays and visited Disney World again. Also the Epcot Centre

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In September, once the children had returned to school, David and I went camping in the Loire & the Dordogne for 2 weeks. We enjoyed a luxurious meal at the Maison du Roc restaurant

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We moved into Coronation Cottage in the grounds of Chadlington Manor in October 1988: we then worked hectically to convert the manor into a hotel. This required a lot of burning off of paint, scraping off of wallpaper, builders inserting bathrooms, and Juliet Jowett working on suitable soft furnishings . We did allow ourselves 2 days off for Christmas, the Sopers staying with us, and my parents coming over from Ashton.

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Photos of Chadlington Manor on 1989 page

Go to 1989

Chris Grant Life