On the Edge

We’re in Folkstone tonight. We could see France, if it weren’t

1. snowing                          2. freezing fog                                 3. dark.

We have a strange sense of teetering on the edge of Britain. We’re not about to fall off, more sort of slide under as we head for the tunnel tomorrow morning. It’s a long way from Drumnadrochit.

I was so relieved to get to Chertsey after the dodgy campsite experiences on the way south. But we were even more glad to leave after our weather- and accident-enforced residence and a weekend sharing the site with a large party of Swift motorhome owners who descended on Chertsey for a winter rally. All fish and chips and santa hats and sad dances. Oh and someone nicked one of the shower curtains and the site managers were going nuts. A strange bunch of people are winter motorhomers and caravanners, and not one we are in any hurry to join.

We had an ok weekend though. We walked along the Thames to Shepperton Lock in a watery sun through the early morning mist on Saturday morning (dodging the parakeets).We made a sojourn to Purley yesterday to have lunch with Dorothy and Ian and their charming sons Matthew and Michael (sorry if that’s toe-curling for the boys but they were delightful company), and had a rallying phone conversation with Rose last nght.

Are we ready to leave? Certainly in the sense that we’ve been staying in the south-east of England quite long enough.The tickets are bought, the van is hitched and the car is pointing in the direction of the tunnel, and the passports are to hand (all four of them). All of the preparation of the last few months has come to this. France seems a whole lot less foreign to me now than it did when I was twenty and first contemplating a lengthy stay in Strasbourg (and that was only meant to be for ten months or so). We’re ready to give it a go. Any apprehensiveness I am feeling tonight is due to short-term concerns about the weather, the road conditions, the route. The weather window we have identified is narrowing – more snow forecast for later in the week has arrived in Scotland already today and is also affecting most of the east coast. It started snowing here at Black Horse Farm just as we arrived. But apparently it’s a whole lot better in France!

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