Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas break

I've been offline for a few days over Christmas, mid-way through the annual pilgrimage to visit my parents in West London, mother-in-law in Cheadle, near Manchester, and my brother and his family in Derbyshire.

By the time we're back at Heathrow to return the hire car, I'll have driven well over 500 miles (800km). As I write, the weather is showing a temporary respite, but generally it has been and will continue to be wet. Driving north, we could see hundreds of flooded fields along the way.

Photos from the road:

Stokenchurch cutting, between Junctions 5 and 6 on the M40. Photo: Moni
Approaching Belper on the A6. Photo: Eddie

The A6 in the High Peaks between Bakewell and Matlock. Photo: Eddie

One little insight from England: Poland's foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, frequently points to the lack of mixer taps and double glazing in English houses. [Penultimate paragraph in this coverage of his Blenheim Palace speech, for example.] This is a demonstration of snobbism; what Sikorski is saying is "Old Money in England doesn't have mixer taps or double glazing". The corollary is that New Money does (peek in any Executive Home). Having spent three nights in three English houses without either, I can attest to the usefulness and desirability of both inventions. Poles can bask smugly in the knowledge that possessing mixer taps and double (or indeed even triple) glazing will not have anyone looking down their noses at them. There is no such thing as Old Money in Poland.

And weather for the next three days...?

"Miserable grey little island! I cannot live without sun or servants!"

This time last year:
Boxing Day walk in Derbyshire

This time three years ago
This time four years ago:
This time five years ago:

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