RWPMW – the holidays

RWPMW wrote the following account of his life towards the end of 2001. Towards the end of 2008, as he approached his eighty first birthday,  he had another seven years to account for. His notes on this period are appended to the 2001 text which is more or less in its original form.

The full text of Peter’s autiobiography has been broken into several chapters.  The flow through the original document is as follows

RWPMW – the early years

RWPMW – the early working years

RWPMW – the highlight years

RWPMW – the family

RWPMW – the holidays

RWPMW – 1987 onwards


Our holidays

Another important feature of our family lives while the children were at school and growing up were our holidays. Besides our two visits to the United States which were working occasions for me but mostly holiday for the children we spent many happy weeks in Wales with the Sylvesters as well as times spent with Joy’s parents in Devon and mine in Scotland.

Best remembered though were our holidays in France in the Dordogne region at Puivinseau. These started in 1972 when Martin and Rosie Sylvester bought a run down farm by this name situated about fifteen kilometres east of Perigueux. We were there the day they moved in and the previous owners moved out leaving their guinea fowl to be collected later. Our time was spent clearing away mountains of rubbish accumulated over many generations and including a heap of broken bottles. Martin as an architect had great plans for its reconstruction and we all helped over the years to put them into effect. During our early visits we climbed over piles of rubble to get to bed and went swimming in the local rivers. Drinking water had to be sterilised. Later Martin installed a swimming pool and we had proper bedrooms. There was room for many people and we used to invite friends to join us, notably the Lyons and the children could have their friends as well. Our last visit there was in 1999 when the Sylvesters had moved there for their own retirement and then decided to sell it and move to another not-quite-so-run-down farm south of Toulouse. By this time it was a marvellous house with an enormous salon de sejour and many bedrooms. None of our other family holidays quite compared with Puivinceau.