Monday, September 06, 2010

A letter from Ken & Barbara

We had been wondering whatever happened to our new friends Ken & Barbara from Vancouver who visited us last month, but I know how it is; after a holiday you get quickly caught up in daily affairs. Well, this morning we received a letter from them with Barbara doing the penmanship and it wasn't hard to understand why—she has a real way with words!

Far from being just a nominal "Thank you" it was seven pages of details of the rest of their stay in Paris and mentioning most of us by name and asking for news—it was a joy for everyone to read. Here, to give you a taste, are a couple of paragraphs from the beginning:

We had a splendid time in Marçon and truly appreciated the efforts you undertook to chauffeur us around the countryside, ensuring we tasted the flavour of the valley’s historical significance and were blown away by the beauty of the area with its rolling hills, its large expansive green fields, unusual birds, and the huge, majestic poplar, lime, and chestnut trees that lined the roads and pathways along the highways and in the parks and towns.

The white limestone houses, farms, shops and churches were quaint and exuded a refreshing coolness that looked welcoming. The castles and cathedrals were remarkable and gave one pause to think what lengths people will go to build such structures in the times they did. Rural France is different from Paris – more relaxed, less pretentious and opulent, and certainly less expensive and more convivial. It’s easy to see why Parisians flock to their country homes on the weekends and during the holidays.

We enjoyed meeting all of you, eating those wonderful meals together, listening to the music recital given by Rebecca and Christopher, participating in evensong and family games and getting a feel for the farm and its activities. The wine, cheese and bread were delicious and my taste buds are spoiled for the cheese I buy in the supermarkets here.

It was a magical experience and the visit was over much too quickly. We trust that the time we spent together did not unduly inconvenience you and that you were able to resume your activities without much fanfare. If time and finances permit travel by any of you to Canada, we look forward to extending the same hospitality to you as you did to us, and will do our best to see that you love Vancouver and the surrounding area as much as we do.

Isn't that nice? God bless them both for having the kindness to come!

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