Posted by: kathandroger | January 6, 2019

Home Again!

It is always nice to be back in France. Much as I appreciate the beauty of Southern England and Wales, the hustle and bustle is too much for me now, and the peace and quiet of our little corner of rurality suits me much better. Still, Monmouth and the surrounding areas were explored, I visited friends in Dorset, and reflected on how much my working environment had changed over ten years.

I do miss the Dorset lanes. Narrow, muddy and dangerous, but full of wildlife and forever changing with the seasons.img_0242I remember I used to drive at breakneck speeds around the bends in older days, but now caution is the watchword.  And it was a great pleasure to visit old friends. Time changes how we look-I hate the mirror nowadays- but relationships do not change. Ten years means nothing with old chums, and recounting the funny things that happened to us professionally and socially was probably the highlight of the trip. Hambledon Hill in Dorset is an ancient Hill Fort, now owned by the National Trust, and in the bright winter Sunshine on Friday I wandered over it to a pretty pub on the other side, whilst Kath took lunch with my pals’ wife in another local hostelry. And in local pubs there is always a face from the past! My mate Dennis (who gave his name to our cat!), and I bumped into several old patients of mine. One family in particular, were pleased to see me, and introduced me to one of their several daughters, a particularly beautiful young lady who I delivered over twenty years ago. It made me feel ancient! And wandering back again we came across another old mate, who I had last bumped into in the British Virgin Islands! He is a Potter and a generally clever chap who has built this little house in his garden, complete with stove and furniture, for contemplating life.img_0250Hambledon can be seen in the distance. What a beautiful sunny winter day, and we could not have left the old country looking better.

So why am I pleased to be back? The calm tranquility of this little rural corner of France I guess. When I was in Frome with the family the local Charity Shop had just been vandalised, as had some of the cash points. Drivers are aggressive and always in a hurry (just like I used to be I guess), and everywhere is crowded and noisy. I know we have had the “casseurs” in France recently, but in general vandalism locally is rare. And the” face to the ground” attitude of passers by I find disquieting. It costs nothing to pass a simple hello, but it is rare now, even in the countryside.

We came through Ouistreham, in the darkness of the early morning , and were pleased to see no sign of the numerous immigrants trying to get to the UK. On our departure young lads were jumping at the back of passing lorries going to the port. There are lots of them, but apparently they cause no trouble to the locals and are even given food and clothing. A sad state of affairs, and it made us feel guilty for all we have. But they would be better staying here rather than attempting to reach a country which neither wants them nor will make them more comfortable. Let’s hope that the coming year will sort out the political shenanigans both in the UK and in France and some solutions can be found to the profound inequalities that afflict modern society.

But hey, I can’t start the first blog of 2019 on such a miserable note. The day is fine, the hunters are out blasting every living thing out of the sky , and vin chaud is on sale at our local market cafe. Off to meet les amis and talk about resolutions for this year. I must stop bloody swearing!

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