Tuesday, 16 February 2010


A couple of weeks after the Cardiff trip Mum and Dad came over to visit me and do a bit of shopping at the famous weihnachtsmarkts in the region. My flat was not really in a state suitable to have guests but luckily Pickfords had eventually found and delivered my mattress so they has somewhere to sleep. We went to the weihnachtsmarkts in Köln, Bonn and the little one in Bad Godesberg. There are several in Köln and we went to the main three. They were huge and so busy that you could hardly move. The one in Bonn was our favourite, large enough to have everything but not nearly so busy.
I had a couple of weeks off over Christmas. I had planed on driving back in time for Mum and Dad's party. Nick was visiting which was nice because I hadn't been able to see him when I visited Cardiff. Despite the snow I made it to Calais in good time. I then spent four hours waiting to board a train. The knock on effect of the Eurostar failures had thrown the Eurotunnel car service into chaos and they didn't seem to have any extra staff to deal with the backlog.
When I made it to the UK it took me another six hours just to get to Oxford. There seemed to be no good reason for the problem. It wasn't snowing, there was very little snow on the ground and it was warm enough that ice wasn't a problem. Despite the mild conditions I spent 90 mins on the M40 in first gear at one stage. I eventually arrived at 2300 just as everyone was leaving! AJ had to abandon his car and walk home having spent seven hours to go a mile.

Decorations on the Christmas tree Jet enjoying a sunbeam

We had the big family Christmas as usual. Things seemed little rushed this year because we've all been very busy, particularly Mum and Dad who have had major work done to the house. We were ready by Christmas day, just!
For the new year break Nick and Ceri had organised a rental cottage near Malmesbury. Doug was there as well as Lynsey and Andy, who I hadn't met before. We had a very nice time just eating, drinking, playing games and visiting the very good local pub. It was a very relaxing week and just what I needed.
I managed to get out of the UK just before the real snow arrived and brought the country to a standstill. Thankfully my trip home was much easier than my trip to the UK.

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