Sunday, 4 July 2010

A tale of two jams........

.............Well actually several...... We set of to France on Friday afternoon and made good progress until we reached the bottom of the M6 when we suddenly hit the mother of all traffic jams. After sitting for more than an hour we eventually got moving but by this point we were now facing rush hour traffic. Consequently, we hit more traffic jams including seven miles approaching the Dartford crossing. Our 7.30pm crossing on eurotunnel eventually became a 10.15pm crossing and our pleasant evening drinking a lovely bottle of wine at our hotel in Rouen was cancelled as we did not arrive until gone 2am. We still necked a bottle of wine but that was more through sheer relief rather than a celebration of the beginning of our holiday.

We were up and about early yesterday and on the road by 9am. We were just rejoicing in the fact that roads are so much clearer and travel so much easier in France when we ran smack bang into another monster jam near Chartres. We eventually arrived frazzled and exhausted at 4pm yesterday, 24 hours after we set off.

A brief stop at the Intermarche near Chalus allowed us to stock up. Predictably, our basket contained much more booze than food and we both sensed a big drink was in order. By 5pm we were sozzled more through tiredness than alcohol but it felt amazing being back at our house. It really is a privilege that we never tire of and seeing the results of all the hard work that has gone on in our absence was a pick me up after our journey.

We sat in the evening sun, drinking in the nature that surrounds us in the Limousin. Mel noticed that our Cherry tree was in full fruit and despite our inebriated state we were soon perched perilously on stepladders picking our newly discovered treasure and we both had one of those moments where we realised just how lucky we are to have each other and the life we have created for ourselves.

I felt significantly less lucky this morning when I awoke with a thumping head and a raging hangover. It didn't take long though for our surroundings to wash away the effect and a drive into Limoges through the winding country roads lifted our spirits considerably.

This afternoon was given up to relaxation and recovery. I battled with the bizzare internet solution from Orange, finally getting on-line a few hours ago whilst Mel had one of her famous holiday snoozes and this evening we dined on the famous French dish of Chicken, Chips and gravy. (you can take the man out of Manchester....).

Tomorrow I am going hunting for new fishing locations and I've promised Mel a bike ride which will be a test for me given my current level of fitness but it will be a nice problem to have. Mel has been researching recipes for Cherry cakes and Cherry Jam's , in fact anything with Cherries in it as we have an abundance of them. I'd better pedal hard tomorrow if I am to survive the calorific effects of her endeavours.

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