Posted by: kathandroger | January 5, 2017

Another festive season.

They all come too quickly now. The summer season is over and then it is suddenly Christmas again. I can remember as a boy thinking how long the week is when waiting to play football for the school team on a Saturday, but now the weeks fly by. Our perception of time is strange; why do the days accelerate as we get older? I was watching a flock of starlings a few weeks ago, and their changes of direction, all together, was breathtaking. But to them perhaps, time is different and they may have felt sluggish that day!

We have been back to the UK for the festivities. Journeys are interesting, but we have done the trip so often that it is a bit routine now and the brain has to be put in neutral. After the normal time strapped life we live I find it relaxing to spend hours watching the world and its inhabitants go by. What is all this fashion of having a beard and then shaving the head? I can fully understand not shaving the beard, but why then cut all head hair off-it must be bloody taters in the mold at this time of year, but I guess that is what fashion is all about-bugger the practicalities if I feel good. The overnight ferry got us into Portsmouth early in the morning and in time to do last minute shopping in Waitrose before it became too packed-at 7.45 we managed well, but it was heaving when we left. There is no problem about remembering to drive on the left in the UK; the density of traffic means there is nowhere else to go! First stop at daughters house in Frome. What a lovely town! Small and friendly, trendy and steep. Lovely pubs, seemingly always busy, and a welcoming ambiance. It had to be celebrated with lots of English beer, one of the few things I really miss in France, and overstaying the allotted time for us chaps was greeted in traditional fashion by the womenfolk on our late return. And I thought our loud singing would be admired, not admonished! Frome was kids and carols-my twin grandsons liked their seesaw and only one bloody nose spoiled their fun. Two lots of carols, in the local church and on the local park bandstand, got rid of the inner chorister, and a long country walk got rid of some of the dietary and boozing excesses. Then it was off to the Lake District on the train to meet up with a large group of friends and with the trouble and strife who had spent the time with her parents in Yorkshire. What can I say about the trains? Overbooked, nowhere to put luggage, freezing with nowhere to sit in the stations, but on time thank goodness. We got there.

The Lake District in north west England is very beautiful. It is normally seen through a screen of rain and fog and wind. Not so this year. We had a week of good weather, negligible rain and some frosty sunny days. Ideal for walking the hills and cycling the tracks in the local forest. Our group of about 25 meet at this time of the year and it is fascinating to see the maturing of the younger generation each time. We rent a very large house, other friends visit, and generally have a good time together. The Lakes are a wonderful venue, but for me the beauty is compromised by the sheer density of people and more particularly the background noise of the incessant traffic anywhere near the roads. We ate well in local pubs and restaurants-food generally in the UK is at least as good as in France nowadays, and it was sad to make our farewells.

Having endured a delay on the M6 and a diversion though the very unattractive centre of England, we punctuated our journey to see Kaths cousin in Warwick and then it was back to the overnight ferry and home to France once more. Too much noise and too many people and cars in the UK, but it was nice to see everybody seemingly content with their lot. We are too.


  1. The density of the traffic and also of the litter always astonishes us on each return to the UK. Which is daft really, it’s always the same, if not gradually getting worse on each trip. But somehow weeks of driving along almost deserted French roads that are immaculately maintained makes us forget how awful UK roads are.
    We live in Derbyshire which is a beautiful county but so choked with traffic that we have to grit our teeth to get out and about these days.

    • Jean, so sorry to hear about Nick’s problems. He needs to do more fishing!-seriously, if there is anything I can help with in regard to the medical questions then do come over and have a chat.

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