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  • Working in IT, when the Y2K issue reared its transcendental head, I had to work all hours.

    However, planes did not fall out of the sky, the banking system did not collapse (at least not that year) and the world did not end. My contribution to saving civilisation was minimal. But, Y2K royally screwed up my time off. So, in the new millennium, I wanted a holiday.

    France was my first choice of destination. Near enough to drive too, but far enough to be away from the office. After short listing a few places, and contacting the various owners, we chose a small barn conversion in Normandy.

    A ferry crossing and several hours driving later, we found the cottage. It was in the grounds of a small château, Le Château de Monfreville. The owner lived in England, but she had entrusted looking after the cottages and château to Cliffy and Ruthy.

    Ruthy was mum to the owner of the château, and Cliffy was her partner. Cliffy welcomed us to our temporary holiday home. They were the perfect hosts. There if you needed help, but out of sight if you wanted privacy.

    That holiday home soon became a second home. Over the next ten years every holiday was spent there.

    We learned that Ruthy suffered with Alzheimers. Each day was new to her and Cliffy was her anchor. Each time we went back to the cottage, Cliffy had to introduce us again to Ruthy. She never remembered us, we were always new visitors.

    Cliffy did all he could for Ruthy, His life was her life.

    Is there any greater love?

    I don't have any pics of Cliffy or Ruthie, but this is the cottage where they lived when I knew them.
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