We saw a younger version of ourselves in Jean-Eudes.
It reminded us of our enthusiasm when we both quit corporate roles and together started a business from scratch in an industry that we were completely new to, primary aged childcare. From both owning the broom, to both pushing the broom. And how that part of our relationship legacy has contributed to the people we have become today, warts and all!
Living on site himself, Jean-Eudes was the owner of the hotel. In his early thirties, he too woke up one day having had enough of the corporate entrenchment to embrace the risks associated with business ownership and purchased the 14 room establishment, never having any broom experience neither. Ownership, and operations.
We’d been his only patrons for the night. With a change in the seasons, so too does the tourism industry whereby the volume of holiday makers falls to a trickle. He’ll eventually shut up during January and early February. It’s when he takes his down time to escape brooms and go off to do some rest and recreation. Not necessarily in that order.
If we’d have known about it just being us overnighting, we wouldn’t have inconvenienced him by taking breakfast. However, Jean-Eudes insisted that it was no problem and his passion for what his heart was following showed up in the breakfast presentation served up. Inviting him to join us, he did with his coffee and we conversed.
We absorbed his story that triggered warmth and goose bumps of reflection and feelings. The hotel itself was built in 1826 and when he redecorated, he found old newsprint that he rescued. A proud trophy that propels him to strive and be part of a future legacy. The award plaques on the outside were eye catching when we first rocked up to show the world that he’s doing a mighty fine job for someone who is 35 years of age now. Ever since taking over the ownership inbetween Covid lock ups which tested his resiliency somewhat. Which is all part and parcel of riding brooms. Only those who have pushed and owned can understand. If you haven’t, you can only imagine. We’d been there and know that one has to wear a mask when entertaining customers.
It was also an opportunity to ask if he could make use of our three gas canisters that we were originally going to use when we camped and cooked. Which we didn’t and were still brand new and explosive. Things you can’t pack into ones suitcase when flying. We left them in good hands to do whatever, at the same time feeling strange that we were at a part of our trip where we were now starting the discarding of stuff carried. In readiness to return home.
Which also had a twist after retiring to bed and before our breakfast shared with Jean-Eudes. The long and the short of it was a call made to our travel agent back home to ask if there was an opportunity to change flying home to an earlier flight? Within twenty minutes, the transaction was done to arrive back onto the land of the long white cloud a week earlier.
We believe that the UK deserves more of our time to explore (perhaps a cycle from top to bottom) and smarter geographic understanding to better plan the visit to a number of friends in a number of places spread out across the isle (versus speed dating). It’ll also give us some time to allow the bodies to rest and recover before we kick back into life off the bike seat. Owning a broom (BClaire) and pushing a broom (Brent). For the immediate future. After our time spent with Jean-Eudes, the ideas machine was sparked up and going for it!
We made our way back down to the beach. It just looked stunning. The beach. The tide up but having turned. The dots of people featured along the foreshore. In and out of the waters edge. And the ones frequenting the cafe’s enjoying their expresso or croissant or what ever their pleasure.
We didn’t want to leave.
As we exited south, the phone buzzed with a received text message from BClaire’s hairdresser. Unbeknown to me, it was someone high up on her priority list to inform after our change of flights were confirmed. Nearly even before letting the family know! Positioned on the handle bar with a slight angle, I’ve mastered the art of pressing buttons and looking up and therefore relayed messages back and forth until her confirmation of getting a hair cut was confirmed. Yep! And hasten to add, it is looking very motely and I’m trying to capture it with a photo in it’s natural state without a cap on. Now that’s been a chore without getting the look! If only she could see what I’m looking at.
The riding today was much the same as before, residential suburbia, coastal views of calm ocean, wetlands and closed mouths so as not to have invited guests swallowed, beach forest cover and the like. We stopped to assist a lady who’s husband had taken a spill off his bike and lying there with legs and arms up, looking like a dead ant. Once we got the big fella up and did the floppy chicken in charades, he seemed okay and appreciative. Easily done with one lapse in concentration, jeez we’ve been fortunate, touching wood with only a couple more days riding to go.
Instead of a hotel, we booked an apartment with a balconey that gave us a clear view of the sun setting. They are a dime a dozen now with everything closing up shop. There was a puff of cool air breeze that caused a momentary body shiver.
Summer is beckoning us home.
Even before we definitely end this adventure for sure, that journey has already begun.