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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Today started off very badly and ended very well.

8:10 this morning found me crawling along the M25, going about 15 miles an hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic through the driving rain, with a car full of grumpy kids, on my way to Beccles to visit my folks. (The M25 is a motorway that circles London; the world's biggest ring road, I read somewhere; also known for its horrible congestion.)

The rain cleared up after we'd been through the Dartford Tunnel (which takes one under the Thames), and we had a brief, blissful period of normal-speed travel, until we got to the one-lane-each-way bit and were trapped for what seemed like decades behind a tiny green Peugeot driven by an even tinier old man in a hat, all of whom (car, man and hat) I rapidly came to hate. The Peugeot was travelling at 30 in a 50mph zone, and there was no way to pass it, since there was a non-stop stream of enormous lorries travelling in the opposite direction.

And then, eventually - thank God - the torture ended when the Peugeot turned off our road so that I could stop swearing and travel at a normal pace, and the sun came out properly. The landscape looked exactly like the Teletubbies landscape - that bright green, smooth grass and a flat monochrome blue sky with a few artistically placed puffy white clouds here and there.

We spent a very pleasant day with my parents; yummy lunch, followed by oddly enjoyable outing to strange British shop (discovered a while ago by my parents, to their great delight) which sells absolutely everything from fertiliser to advent calendars and fuzzy slippers, all freakishly cheaply.

Fortunately the trip home was a lot more pleasant than the trip there - the traffic was much more manageable - but it still took three hours, and I was quite tired by the time we got home at around 8 this evening. I have to concentrate hard when I drive at night, and it gets dark early these days; it's hard to remember that when we first got here it was still light at 10pm; now it's dark before six.

But when I walked in the door, there was music playing, and the house was all warm and brightly lit and smelled delicious, and Bobby had the table laid, and supper all ready - he'd made butternut soup, and roasted vegetables ...

Bliss, to come back to that!

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