From June 21 to June 26, 1999, we made our kennel tour to England

On Monday morning we drove about 400 km to Calais, where we took the ferry to Dover. Our daughter Nathalie enjoyed this very much, and was not seasick at all. Nathalie on the ferry She had however started a bad cold on Sunday, which gave us some worries.

We first went to visit our friends Rosemary and Bernie Nicoll from the Pepperstone Kennel ( and the Maubern Dairy Goats ). Lots of gossip where exchanged of course. During the night, Nathalie did not sleep very well and we even considered cancelling our trip and driving home.

On Tuesday morning however , Nathalie's fever was gone and we took off to Bottesford, where the Clarke family live. After about 2 hours drive, Raymonde noticed that we had left our bag with Nathalie's medication at the Nicoll's home.

After calling Rosemary and asking if they could perhaps send it by UPS to the guesthouse where Alan Clarke had us booked a room, Rosemary set off in her car and brought it herself to the motorway restaurant we were having lunch. As you see, the trip started merrily.

We received a very warm welcome at "Thisisit", the Clarke's home. Alan Clarke showed us around the premises. They have a large boarding kennel for dogs and cats.

Nathalie and pups at LynwayAlan also showed us the puppies from their latest litter from Lynway Squidgy , by Mallicot Ace of Base. They were very nice and Raymonde fell in love with a shaded sable bitch.

As it was getting late. Alan showed us to the guesthouse, the "Little Covert Farmhouse", which is a converted farm. The owner, Mrs Joyce Hopkins was very friendly. We had a nice big room, with a lovely view on the countryside. For the evening meal we were invited at the Clarke's.

Alan is an excellent cook and we enjoyed the evening with good food, good wine and lots of talk about dogs and judging with Alan and his wife Doreen. Alan's mother is also a Champion show judge and has a vast knowledge of the Collie scene.

Nathalie was still coughing a lot and breathing with difficulty so Doreen then gave us something to rub on her chest. It helped us all to have a quieter night.

On Wednesday morning we had first a full english breakfast to keep us going for the day. Nathalie was much better. Equipped with directions from Alan we then set off to visit the Stokedale kennel of Val and Chip Denham. We had to drive through Nottingham (think of Robin Hood). That was not easy, and we spend some time to find the right way. The next town was Stoke-on-Trent, which can only be described as a nightmare. Even the locals have problems finding their way around. Continued on next page...