Yesterday’s mail brought with it a whopping £18.50 in Tesco vouchers. These apparently came as loyalty points from our electricity provider. I have been saving my Tesco cash vouchers for a while now as they can be exchanged for three times their face value in Channel Shuttle tickets. I have £45 saved so far, so I thought I would see how far they might get us. It turns out that travelling on the shuttle can be quite cheap. Much cheaper than I expected. In short, we only need £60 – £70 in Tesco vouchers before we can think about booking. So, it is sounding like A Plan. The cost of fuel to drive to Folkstone is quite a different matter… not to mention my total abhorrence of road travel anywhere south of York. I am getting the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. All that I can picture in my head is the motorway section past East Midlands. Ugh, ugh, ugh!

I’ve never been to France. We passed through on the train when we went to Brussels, and again on that memorably awful bus trip to the Christmas Markets, but I have yet to stop and to visit.

Mr L retires in almost exactly a year from now, at the end of August 2016. Once we have Nell passported, we shall be free to up and go whenever (and wherever) the fancy takes us.  Due to the very long journey to the tunnel we would plan to make that a distinct part of the holiday, do  it slowly and take in the sights

The fancy at the moment is to visit Hoy. It may not be as exotique as la Belle France but it is rather more accessible and we only need a couple of free days – and there are hills. HILLS!  I shall be waxing my boots soon.

We turned the van around yesterday evening. The last thing that I wish to be doing is to supervise that tight manoeuvre when Mr L has ten minutes left before leaving for his ferry. I insisted that we do it in good time and feel much relieved that it is over and done with. We also trimmed the new mattress topper to fit and today I swept out the van and washed the floor and then stocked up the kitchen with dry goods. All that remains to be done is the making up of the bed and then she can go off for her MOT and be all ready to pick up and go when she is done. Whenever that is. There is no knowing how much work will be needed to get her through.

60% done
60% done

Knitting news:

  • Those cotton skeins are yet to fully dry. They are taking forever.
  • I weighed the remaining Pavonated yarn last night and found that there are 40 gms left to knit, confirming that I am 60% done.
  • There is yet another new project on the needles. Just getting it started and then putting it in the van for our travels… nothing stupid.
Ready to go
Ready to go – and, oh, what a lot of purple!

I now have three small, easily knitted, concentration-free projects packed and ready. Four, if you count the sock kit as two projects as it has two half pairs of socks in it. All of these can be knitted on the move and have the positive benefit of being stashbusters, using up small remnants of sock yarn. I am still considering adding Warriston to the pile, for parked-up knitting.


My knitting travels safely stowed but readily accessible, in the locker over my passenger seat (we are LHD) though anything being actively worked on as I travel is normally to be found in the drinks locker, which is down at my right hand side.

(pause for Haggis)

As the day has progressed the French trip has been firming up in our heads and is now looking like a genuine, though outline, plan. Passports need to be renewed for Humans and Nell and Teddy need to be sorted out also. Language skills require dusting off and driving regulations learned. Twelve months notice is perhaps just right. We need to get stuck in soon and in particular on my French, which is rather less parlez and somewhat more parlous. I did fail my O-level, when all be said and done.

We are currently thinking maybe a month in France, plus perhaps a week’s travel in either direction. We would concentrate on Brittany and Normandy initially and maybe buzz off to Belgium later. We have even outlined an idea of what the journey south might look like – (1) Borgie on the first night off the ferry, then stop somewhere in the Highlands around (2) Braemar, the following night in the Southern Uplands maybe in the beautiful (3) Mennock Pass then leg it down to (4) Pock to see the family and on to (5) Canterbury pre-embarkation at Folkstone. I’d probably do 4 to 5 with my eyes tight shut. I do have to admit to liking the Canterbury idea though, it has been very many years since I visited there.

Thinking about driving through Kent brought back some old memories and I have been playing with Streetview, looking for houses that I lived in as a child. I found one of them in East Sussex – no longer on an almost empty leafy lane but now hemmed in all around. It sold last at over half a million – when we lived there it was a tied cottage, servant’s quarters!

I shall retire now to dream happy daydreams of unpasteurised cheese and freshly made butter and hot croissants and Normandy cider and and and….



  1. Alison
    August 6, 2015

    Sounds like you have a wonderful journey planned. We have started being more adventurous now that we are both semi-retired and the children have flown the nest. I did French A level and thought I had forgotten most of it, but I was surprised how quickly it came back!
    If you go to Belgium, I can highly recommend Bruges. We went there for 3 days via the Eurostar and it is a really beautiful old town.

    Happy travels

  2. August 8, 2015

    The motorway through the east Midlands is much improved. It’s been widened and rarely snarls too badly.
    I hope you will drop in to say hello to us as you pass York.

I enjoy reading your comments, please pass the time of day