Random musings on the trip home:
I don't know if these coach trips are a false economy. We've spent two days of it sat on the coach, listening to the drivers' dire jokes, with old ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES and MRS, BROWN'S BOYS episodes on the screen. The braying guffaws of my fellow travellers remind me of the mirthless leers of the riders on Mark Gertler's CAROUSEL.
We stopped in Belgium for a forced visit to PJ's chocolate factory, which was very strange.
It's Brit-owned, on a farm, with a grubby-looking cafe attached, where a rather handsome cockerel strutted snootily amongst the tables. Inside, there was cheap and horrible perfume,booze,fags. and lots of overpriced chocolate that tastes like wax. The frenzied atmosphere was such that I spent 14 Euros, though. It was packed, with grimly determed tourists buying huge amounts of stuff, and just very weird
On the feeder coach about to go through the Channel Tunnel, I heard the driver asking to be put near a toilet, as they had a 'bad walker' on board. I'd also noticed the crip symbol next to my name on the boarding list. I'd been feeling I was practically an athelete, nowadays, but an excursion like this shows you the grim reality, all right. By the time we got to Victoria, I was so siezed up, that I was afraid I wouldn't make it hoime.
No regrets, though. It was definitely worth it. I just wish I'd been fitter/younger . On the other hand, a couple of years ago, I really couldn't have coped at all with pounding the coibblestones all day, and doing lots of wonky stairs, even at my crawling pace, etc.