Did you know the parents of large families in France are awarded medals?
It's true! It's practically an Olympic event. If you've raised four or five children it's a bronze medal, six or seven is silver, and eight or more is gold. A bronze medal is also given to widowed mothers of three children if their husband has been killed in action, which I think is a lovely gesture.
People have to be nominated for a medal by someone in writing to their local mairie. The mairie will make enquiries and if the children are happy and well-brought up, the prefecture for the relevant department approves the nomination. The medal is named 'Médaille d'honneur de la famille française'. In English 'Medal of the French Family'.
Mother's Day medals
When I first read about the medals I must admit that It all sounded a bit peculiar. I thought it was an April Fool joke. But apparently the French government encouraged people to have large families because they were worried about the declining population. The medal was actually introduced in 1920, the same year that La Fête des Mères was made an official holiday on May 20. That's when they started handing out the awards and they still do this even today.
So, if you know any parents that deserve a medal, pop down to your Mairie's office and fill in the necessary forms. You never know they might get one next year. The actual tradition of Mother's Day in France dates back longer than 1920 though, In fact, Napoleon Bonaparte first proposed the idea in 1806, but it was put on the back-burner until the 1890s. Well, that's French admin for you!
We know several very lucky ladies who will probably be spending La Fête des Mères in their hot tubs (me included I hope). Last week we delivered an early birthday present to a lovely lady who had absolutely no idea that her husband had ordered it. So it was a wonderful surprise when we turned up and started wandering through her beautiful garden with a Burford Deluxe. We had to tread very carefully though - literally - because Sophie's garden is her pride and joy.
The sun was shining and we had a very willing and able team waiting to help with the hot tub delivery. Thanks to Sam, Sophie Stokes and their friend Blake, we got the hot tub in position and Tim finished setting it up in just under an hour. A personal best for Tim. Perhaps he deserves a medal. What do you think?
Since then, if you have been following my updates on Facebook, you will have seen that we have been having some transport issues. Our good old Hot Tubs In France van has been racking up the miles recently and I think it's a bit fed up. We have had to order parts for it which haven't arrived yet. It's not safe to drive any long distances at the minute, so I was beginning to panic because we had 5 deliveries planned in 10 days. Luckily we were able to use a friend's pick-up for one of them and we have hired one from the local supermarket for a few days, until the parts arrive. The friend's pick-up was incredibly fortuitous though, because we had waited ages for the timing to be right for this particular delivery. And we didn't want to let anyone down.
Even the entrance gate to No.3 The Chateau is seriously impressive, but once inside and into the courtyard my jaw dropped. I had seen a few photos on the website. However, nothing could beat seeing this incredible wedding and events location up close and personal. I'm not even going to try to describe it - just check out the gallery below and tell me you're not impressed. It takes a lot to stop me talking, but I was speechless - for a very short time.
What else is happening
So, once all our customer hot tub deliveries are out of the way we are hoping for a delivery of our own. I mentioned in the last newsletter about the Cotswold Dining Pavilion, but in case you haven't subscribed yet I'll tell you a bit about it. If it meets our quality standards, then this gorgeous gazebo with built-in dining table and seating could be the next addition to our Cotswold range. It would tick a few boxes if it is constructed to the same high standard as the Cotswold Eco Tubs. It'll give Tim something to get his teeth into as well because if we take them on then he'll be building them! So watch this space for more news in a few weeks time.
Other things to look forward to will be the summer fairs and fetes. We have got a few in mind and as soon as the dates are confirmed we'll let you know. In the meantime, I'm still trying to get fit for the Mighty Hike charity walk at the beginning of June. Please donate if you can because it will all help MacMillan continue with their amazing and supportive work for cancer sufferers and their families.
Sadly, our hot tub offer has now ended, but that doesn't mean you can't order a new hot tub for Father's Day in June. Dad's are special too aren't they? Please get in touch for more information using the details below. To all the Mums out we wish you a very wonderful Mother's Day on Sunday. I'm pretty sure that Sophie will be spending a few hours celebrating in her very early Birthday present - Happy Hot Tubbing!