well, we made it back.  and almost all in one piece, too!

hello, dear reader.  once again, it’s been a while has it not?  as you may be aware,  i’ve been off with Hubby and our darling Talulah having adventures, and i intend to recount them here, for your reading…er…pleasure?  um…well maybe.  or at least your reading equivelant of chloroform.  i haz pictures, too, and shall inflict them upon you at every opportunity, since this is my tiny little corner of the web, and i can do whatever the hell i like with it.  so ner! 😛

it will, however, take me several posts, but i hope to be finished up by Thursday (i came home to an unexpected day off that day, and UK readers may possibly be able to guess why…)

anyway, without further waffling, i bring you…  well…  the memories i managed to record with pen and paper and memory card, and what little brain i have to spare.

Saturday, June 11 – Sunday, June 12 ~~~ Derby to St Malo

we like to travel long distances at night or early morning, if we can.  in this country, anyway.  being such a cramped and crowded little island, it makes sense, since poor old T is a little slow to be able to play nicely with the other traffic, and she can get a little hot and bothered.  as luck would have it, one of my colleagues was getting married that day, and we had an invite.  it seemed the most sensible option to pack up T, and set off straight after the wedding reception, drive half of the distance to the ferry port, and then park up somewhere for the night.

on the road again...

we awoke to a grey and drizzly morning on sunday.  as we headed for Portsmouth, the weather got gradually more horrible . grey, cold, wet, windy…  yay English Summertime!  arriving in Portsmouth at around 10am, we had about 8 hours to kill before we should start thinking about checking in for the ferry, so we had a wander around the Portsmouth Historic Dockyards.  being the daughter of a marine engineer, i kind of grew up with ships, and H wanted to join the Navy when he was a young man, so it was fascinating for both of us to have a good ol’ nosey around HMS Warrior and HMS Victory.  i’m only mildly ashamed to admit that i preferred looking around the Warrior far more than the Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship and deathbed.

HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior engine room (but not the best bit - i couldn't do that justice with mere photography!)

The Captain's Cabin aboard HMS Warrior

HMS Warrior flying the Red Ensign. windy much?!

HMS Warrior - attack of the giant spider!

HMS Victory - ok, i admit it - she's purty...

...but soooo cramped! the ceiling was so very low, and this was the most open space on the ship...

it must have been the smell of diesel and metal as opposed to the musy smell of old wood that did it.  Warrior made me think of my dad, and wish he was there with me to coo over the magnificent engine room.  i’m no engineer, but i could still appreiate her beauty.  and the rigging of both ships was confounding!  it gave me pause to consider the evolution of sailing ships, and wonder what it must have been like to step aboard one of these beautiful beasts for the first time, knowing you had to learn where every rope went and what it would do if you gave it a tug.  as a side note, it occurs to me that it may have been just a tinge of local pride giving the Warrior the edge, too, since the beams holding her decks up were, i was delighted (in my usual squeaky fashion) to discover , made about a mile away from where i grew up and live…

made in the same place as the roof of St Pancras Station in London *pride* (click to read where)

the bloody rain never let up all day, and by the time we were aboard the ferry, there was a pretty stiff wind blowing, too.  i felt sorry for the people in the vintage cars that we saw lining up to take the same ferry.  bundled up to the eyeballs in wet weather gear, and undoubtedly freezing their norks off.

the journey was to take all night, so we decided that to entertain ourselves, we would go watch a film (having got over our astonishment that the ferry had not one but two cinemas! 😮 ).  this proved to be a mistake.  the air was stuffy, the seats weren’t all that comfortable, and…  the sea was a bit rough.

now, i’ve been in rougher seas.  oh, yes.  you want rough?  try a North Atlantic Storm on an oil tanker, where the waves are so big the spray crashes right over the foredeck, to a height of about thirty feet.  but i digress.  rough is as rough does and, with no point of reference for the rolling of the ship (on a most peculiar axis to our seats), we were both feeling decidedly unwell when we emerged.  poor H almost lost his lunch.  but we managed.  twenty minutes or so of (extremely) fresh air on the deck, and we were ready to try and get a little kip.  sadly, all we had to kip on were these allegedly reclining chairs, that had cost extra to hire (as we couldn’t afford a cabin).  dear reader, if you are ever faced with this option, take my advice: don’t waste your money.  we ended up sleeping on the floor.  along with, i might add, many of our fellow passengers, who had also forked out twenty quid or so to hire these unutterably useless pieces of furniture.

in the end, we got about four hours sleep.  if that.  and so began our first day in France…

tune in soon for the next exciting installment of Talulah On Tour…