We have made it back to base, a little later than intended. The ferry crossing was brilliant – calm waters, a good meal, the new Tarantino, an excellent night’s sleep – and the get-away straightforward, despite the extra security following Brexit. The roads were fine in the sunlight, and we had an audiobook to distract our attention away from the dull high plains. But as we approached the border, I began to feel very tired and the prospect of driving another 200 kms became increasingly unappealing. Instead, we pulled off to the small medieval town we had stopped in on the way up, knowing the hotel provided secure car parking where our over-stuffed vehicle would not be interfered with. A break-in we suffered in Soviet era Warsaw has made us very alert to the possibility of an overnight theft of all our goods.
As a consequence, the return was an almost exact mirror image of our departure ten weeks earlier: five weeks either side of the UK winter festivities, a consultation at the hospital the day of departure with unexpected and unwanted medical results, and an overnight stay at the same hotel. The main differences are that I no longer feel unwell and the UK is no longer a part of the continent. Maybe the two are interlinked!
We obtained a permit on arrival and just before dinner lit the bonfire left behind ten weeks ago. Pasta is set to boil on the hob and the log stove is ready for lighting, thus ensuring a cozy first night back.