Dick and Angel Strawbridge almost went into ‘panic mode’ over chateau11/06/2022
Escape to the château: Dick and Angel say their kids aren't spoilt
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Dick and Angel Strawbridge admitted that they were terrified their business would collapse due to the stress and strain of the pandemic, feeling “sick” and “dizzy” as they struggled to stay afloat. Yet, in an unearthed interview, the pair confessed that even when their immense 45-bedroom abode was forced to close, they would never seek to escape from the chateau – only to it.
Desperate to make ends meet after lockdown restrictions made weddings all but impossible, eliminating a huge chunk of their revenue, the quick-thinking pair decided to plan their own tour instead.
They travelled the UK under the touring name Dick And Angel: Dare To Do It, with their children alongside them – and their presence turned out to be the one thing that prevented a nerve-wracked Angel from descending into complete panic.
“My heart was going so fast and my head was dizzy, and if I hadn’t had [my nine-year-old-son] Arthur leading me… I thought, ‘I can’t fumble in front of the children,'” she exclaimed.
Dick chimed in that Angel had become “brave and wonderful” due to little Arthur leading her out onto the stage as their tour debuted.
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“He was protecting her. It was so humbling,” he explained, while Angel added that Dick never got stage fright or butterflies the way she had done.
After her initial terror, the pair ended up warming to their roles to such an extent that they stayed at each venue until they got “chucked out”.
They took “hundreds” of selfies with fans, and – according to Angel – the success of their tour meant that they avoided going into “complete panic mode”.
Afterwards, they retreated back to their 19th-century chateau in higher spirits with the aim of working from home – but, although their children were on board with calming Angel’s nerves, they weren’t quite as keen to follow their lessons.
That said, when Arthur returned to his primary school after the pandemic, he’d sailed ahead and ended up doing his mathematics at a higher level than expected for his age, so “Daddy’s School” had clearly been a help.
Determined Dick ensured the children were attentive at his trigonometry sessions, though Angel considered herself too much of a “rebel” to get involved with “formal” education.
“Angel got detention twice at the first morning session – and never came back!” Dick joked as the pair continued their interview with You magazine.
That said, she did participate in the writing of the book Living The Chateau Dream – something she and Dick worked on side by side in bed.
They relived their memories of leaving Essex in favour of their chateau renovation project, and the feelings they had as they conducted their first wedding, and received guests there for the first time.
Dick took readers through his process of learning rural survival techniques, including how to distinguish between edible mushrooms and poisonous ones on their 12 acres of land.
He was even forced to get ruthless and kill the family’s pet cockerel for food, something which he also detailed in the book.
As the handyman of the house, Dick has been very hands-on with renovating the romantic yet crumbling chateau, even installing a plumbing system there.
Though the pair’s chateau journey has been fraught with setbacks, including financial woes, they are adamant that they wouldn’t change their way of life for the world.
“If you look at the sewage, if you look at the electrics in here, if you look at the lead paint, it basically says ‘Don’t buy me!'” Dick previously admitted on their Channel 4 show.
Besides that, the paperwork from the estate agent detailed 450 faults at the chateau.
However, Angel and Dick made the decision to buy, and they haven’t looked back since.
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