We left just as the grass seed was greening up nicely. Now back in England and home as of 3pm yesterday. Return journey easy-peasy. We relied on sat nav man to get us to Abbeville in France without going through Rouen, which we understand is still in turmoil due to the tunnel repairs. Sat nav took us round the western edge of Paris on an amazing string of roads. We disappeared into a tunnel on the A86 and re-appeared several kilometres and many minutes later in Nanterre district without any knowledge of how we got there! I felt as if I'd gone down the rabbit hole with Alice.
Tim behaved much better in the car, settled into the hotel in Abbeville like a seasoned traveller and only blotted his copybook by barking at a labrador who had the temerity to walk across the entrance hall in front of him. Up at six in the morning because he wanted to go outside, please. Performed immediately and I soon drove us on our way to Calais where we missed the turn into Le Tunnel sous la Manche again. We've done this before, misled by signs for the car ferry. Soon got ourselves back on track and sought the Pet Transport Office where Tim got his passport stamped, and we were on the 9.20am train and back in England by 10am. It was raining in Calais and pouring down as we went round the M25. (London's equivalent of Le Peripherique in Paris). I suspect the M25 is under a permanent rain cloud - it always rains when we're on it. The fly-over that crosses the Thames at Dartford and was an amazing sight with three stationary lanes of traffic, all with headlights on against a slate grey sky, backed up as far as we could see - all because there was some bottleneck at the toll booths. They must have had a terrific view from up there while they waited, but I don't suppose they appreciated it! The tail back went on for miles. We skipped through the tunnel and headed north. As dh said, they never tell you have far it is to The North. We only stopped seeing signs for The North when we reached Darlington, so there you are - that's where The North begins.
The journey through England never fails to make me realise how much traffic there is south of Leeds. It is horrific. The north east clamours for motorway north from Newcastle to Berwick and Edinburgh but really, the traffic volume is not high enough to merit such a cost.
We listened to Radio 2 a lot of the way. In between lots of music, the presenter was trying to drum up objections to Baroness Scloss taking part in the enquiry on pedaphilia among Parliamentarians. He kept at it all morning, on the grounds that her brother once advised that a Parliamentary name was not revealed to the public way back in the eighties. I'm glad to say I don't think he was winning.
I also came to the conclusion after many hours of listening that modern pop music is dull. Each song has a different "voice" as we would call it in writing. It catches the attention in the first few bars, but the singers seem to have a range of very few notes and the songs are more chants to a driving beat that at first seems catchy but soon becomes monotonous. The lyrics are beyond banal in most cases. I was not impressed. Can you tell?