Train strain.

The return to Somerset was pretty uncomfortable on an overcrowded train (is there any other kind in the UK these days?). No space for luggage, no space for passengers (or their long suffering dogs), and no buffet (unless you were prepared to trample over the people forced to sit on the floor); the heating however, was working. “Aha,” I hear my regular reader exclaim “result, given the current plunging temperatures outside”. “Not so,” say I “when the heating continues to blast out despite optimum temperature having been reached about ten degrees ago”. I texted an SOS to K to bring large amounts of water with her to the station for my arrival, severe dehydration was kicking in after three and a half hours in cattle class.

At some point in the journey several of us debated why, given the constant overcrowding of trains, extra coaches are not added to services and came to the conclusion that it is because the cost of additional rolling stock might adversely affect the annual profits and bonuses the train moguls’ so desperately need. Magnanimous plebeians that we are, we accept their need for additional millions each year (those tropical hideaways, nuclear/biological bunkers and global warming stockpiles don’t come cheap, you know) … and we sent our sincere thanks to the aforementioned moguls for a journey unusually delayed by mere minutes not hours.


The journey did sort of dull the shine from what otherwise had been an extremely pleasant few days with BB aboard the Blue Buzzard. We visited the Denby factory near Derby, shopped in Sutton Coldfield and tasted a few wines and gin at a local (to Fazely) vineyard/distillery. Unfortunately we visited the Denby factory the day after I’d bought a couple of bottles of the rather lovely vineyard product, and there I bought some of Denby’s rather lovely dinnerware products for R0X1 (well I have to make it up to her that I considered selling her). So I was unable to fit everything in my suitcase and be able to lift it.

I’m sure, dear regular reader, that you will be shocked to find out that it was the vineyard product that was left behind … not sure what came over me, I might have to find a vineyard round here …

🙂 🙂 🙂


What did the Romans ever do …?

Well for the Gauls in and around Orange (which of course wasn’t called Orange at the time, it’s ancient name was Arusio) in the first century CE, the Romans built a triumphal arch to celebrate their own brave soldiers who conquered the Gauls. And in the fourth century they built themselves a nice theatre which doubtless the poor hapless Gauls didn’t get to go to as they were too busy being slaves.

Amazing stuff tho’ and the theatre is actually in use tonight for a free rock gig. When I was there yesterday the roadies were busy setting up.


Paul, Meriam, the two dogs and I are off to see more Roman architecture tomorrow, the Pont-du-Gard, it’s really more about cooling off beside the river! Temp here today was possibly in excess of 35℃, the sun is down now and it’s still 29 – hoping it cools down some more or I won’t sleep tonight. Can’t believe I’m whinging about the heat …

🙂 🙂 🙂


Route 66

Yesterday was the hottest of the year so far for me and after a week of warm dry weather my hands are much improved. My finger and wrist joints hardly clicking, less achey and much more flexible. The knitting is coming on a treat (more of that another time); it’ll be interesting to see what they’re like at the end of a day’s driving. Daisy is loving the warm weather too, doesn’t seem to be overheating at all and enjoying several dust baths a day …

Along the prom here at Argelés there’s a wonderful free photography exhibition. One set of images of nature in the Taiga in Finland from a Frenchman and the other by a French-Canadian of wolves. Some stunning stuff; I’ve been to visit virtually everyday. Wish we did more outdoor art at home – I know the weather’s not as kind but I’m sure there are suitable weather-proof finishes and, as I know for a fact, it rains in France too! Barcelona leads the way with outdoor culture but it seems to be flourishing in France too.

Last night together with 4 lovely new campals I went out for a meal to celebrate my birthday a day early as the site we’re on closes today and we all go our separate ways.The other 4 back home and me over the border into Spain. Thanks for a great evening chap and chapesses.

Hoping to be able to stay somewhere quite high up so that I can get a good shot of tonight’s super-moon eclipse.

A bientôt la France!

🙂 🙂 🙂