Sunday, 20 May 2012

Back in France - The Drive Part I

Firstly I want to thank each and everyone of you who wished us well on our journey, and also for the condolences - we were very touched by the large number of messages we received and both appreciated your kind thoughts.  

We have now been back in France for a few days,  but due  firstly to the fact that the garden looked like a jungle on our return and required some urgent work  and secondly, the need to resolve some chronic computer problems, this post is a little delayed.  I will try to catch up with everyone's posts as soon as I have a little more time.

We had a foul drive across the UK to Dover.  It poured with rain most of the way, and the amount of spray from the trucks was, to use Jean's word, "beastly"! The shot below was taken on the M25 London ring road, south of the city - in mid morning!

For once, we were spared the major traffic hold-ups for which this road is notorious and we exited, still in heavy rain and spray, onto the M20, southbound towards Dover. Thankfully we were driving that way; a Mini had somehow managed to get itself squashed  in a collision with a lorry, and the M20 Northbound to London was barely moving. Had we encountered that going south, we would surely have missed the ferry.


It was a delight, finally to  see the white cliffs of Dover from the departing ferry, and a break in the weather.

Heading back to French soil with a happy sigh.  The roll-on roll off ferry port at Calais is pictured below, after a smooth 90 minute crossing of the Channel.

I might add that the weather here at home is also not particularly good and although the garden seems to be enjoying the weather, we are not!  

I am hoping to catch up with Leon and Sue in the next couple of days.  They are travelling around France at the present time and if you have not seen their blog, I recommend that you take a look, if you enjoy touring France. They are visiting many places we have yet to see.

For 'My Life before Charente' see HERE  updated 23 May 2012

99 comments:

  1. A belated Welcome Home Diane! ...

    ... taking pics is a great way to pass the time on a journey hey ... pity about the weather ...

    ... though I love rainy weather, three days of that kind of gloom depresses me ...

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  2. Welcome home to you both and fingers crossed you will have better weather than you traveled in. Did you get your laptop fixed? x

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  3. Hi Diane, Nice to read you got back to France safely. Thank you for posting that photo of the White Cliffs of Dover. A view I personally cherish as it reminds me of the many happy holidays I spent in Deal in the seventies.
    P.S. Give Sue and Leon a big hug for me when you seen them. Looking forward to meeting you on the 6th at S&S's! Martine

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  4. Welcome home to France.

    It is always difficult to make a journey to say 'goodbye', but I hope you managed to catch up with friends and family whilst visiting.

    Best wishes

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  5. So happy that you arrived home safely .

    Were you happy to see the White Cliffs from the back of the ferry as you knew you were leaving England and returning HOME to France :-) :-)

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  6. Welcome back! Sending positive thoughts your way.

    Velva

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  7. Thanks Graham, it is good to be back though the weather is still anything but good. We do though feel much more relaxed about everything on French soil, France just seems to have that effect on us :) Take care and it is good to hear from you. Diane

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  8. Kerry the weather is still not good but at least we are where we want to be! Re computer, I left a message on your blog :( Keep well and dry, Diane xx

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  9. Welcome home - is France more home these days?
    We are at Moulin tonight so will ring tomorrow.

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  10. Martine I will certainly give Leon and Sue a hug for you, I am looking forward to meeting them, and of course you on the 6th.

    Nigel spent a year in Deal when he first returned to the UK in 2001 before I joined him. Think he was pretty miz on his own! Glad the picture brings back good memories for you. Diane

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  11. Gaynor we had hoped to go back at the end of the month to say happy 91st to my FIL, instead we took the early trip so we could take him to his sister's funeral. It was sad, but also a blessing as she has quite bad Alzheimer. It was good though to see FIL looking healthy and very well. He still lives alone and copes remarkably well. See you soon :) Diane

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  12. Anne glad that you are able to leave comments again. Yes, you are so right, we were more than glad to see the White Cliffs disappearing into the back ground :))

    It was good to chat with you and I am glad that you are feeling a bit better. Take care Diane xx

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  13. Velva thanks so much, much appreciated. Keep well Diane.

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  14. The weather has been horrendous everywhere of late! Glad you got back home safely Diane:) I am hearing good things on the weather front this week though...surely some sunshine on the way at last!!
    ~Anne

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  15. Leon and Sue, France has been home to me since 2005 when we bought here. Winter was just a visit to Nigel in a country called England!! Nigel definitely now calls this home now. Our last home was in Africa, the years in between were just on standby!!

    Will hear from you tomorrow. Dive with care Diane

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  16. Anne I hope you are right, I really need some sunshine and heat. I am getting fed up with heating still on and wearing jerseys!! Keep well Diane

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  17. Hello Diane:
    You must be very relieved indeed to be back at home in France with that most ghastly of journeys behind you. You have had some very difficult and emotionally draining times of late so we can well see that you must be looking forward to a good supply of lazy summer days.

    It is so good to have you back. We have missed you!

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  18. Jane and Lance you have no idea how happy we are to be back home. We only wish now that summer would arrive. What with the move and all the paperwork that has gone with it, we barely feel like we have touched ground for sometime. The trip back to the UK was unexpected and unplanned but c'est la vie.

    Hopefully we can now find some time to relax. Diane

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  19. as I am reading your post we have an awful rain load falling down on us, must be the one you wrote about.
    good to have you back
    anni

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  20. Glad to see you back safe and sound! We had the the same kind of weather on our drive up to Edinburgh from Portsmouth last month: 450 mi of spray and driving rain -- horrendous!
    Now we need some sunshine :-) Look forward to meeting you at S&S.

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  21. Good grief, what an awful journey. That kind of weather is so scary and stressful to drive in. Not only is there the risk that you might miss the ferry, there's also the chance that you might be the car squashed up against a lorry. Glad you made it safely home.

    Please give Leon and Sue a big hug from me. It's such a shame that our paths won't cross this time, what with them living on the other side of the world !!

    I hope the "do" at Susan and Simon's goes well - so many of our blog friends will be there.

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  22. anni, I wish summer would arrive!! Rain is one thing, but continuous grey skies, cold and wet is quite another!! I just want some heat and sun.

    I am glad to be back though despite the weather. Diane

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  23. Niall and Antoinette you had the 'beastly' weather even further that we did so I feel for you.
    The 6th sounds like it is going to be great fun. so many people to meet:)
    Take care Diane

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  24. Jean I do not need to tell you how happy we were to be back home and in France..... The drive to Dover was just the final straw where England was concerned, we could not get out fast enough. The quiet roads in France, even on a weekday, were instant relief. Wish you were staying a little longer, we will be sorry to miss you. Diane

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  25. Hi Diane. Currys are useless :) I'm still sure I could fix it for you. Maybe when we're next over, I can get it sorted.

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  26. Kerry I could not stand taking everything off and putting it back again I have done it once too often. Thanks for the offer but... Maybe I will feel differently by the next time you are here. I am more that fed up with the whole situation at the moment. It works on WiFi so at least I have something working. Ta Diane xx

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  27. Remarkable how lousy traffic looks the same in every country! So glad you are back and hope it wasn't too stressful. Nothing like gardening to get rid of tension and the blues, if you ask me. Glad to have you back and look forward to your new travels.

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  28. I am glad to see you back safe and sound. I'm sure driving your own car made the trip easier than navigating airports, despite the foul weather. Hope your garden is soon back under control, and the weather is nicer within the next few days!

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  29. welcome again Diane, Im glad you come back,
    and arrive safely with this weather, oh we need some rain dear, we are in autumn but still dont have rain!

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  30. welcome home..i comment only and follow you..so, dont forget follow me back ok.

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  31. I am glad to see that you made it back home safely. I hope your weather starts getting better.

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  32. Glad you made it back home safely in all that down pour.

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  33. lostpastremembered we really could have done without that drive back but we had no choice. We were lucky to have one dry day on our return to at least cut the grass!! Diane

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  34. Marjie, flying ends up more difficult and equally expensive. Costs of car parking here, air fares and hiring a car at the other end is not cheap. To add to it we could have not brought anything much back with us. Thankfully we are now back and I hope the sun shines very soon. Diane

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  35. Gloria I think there are many weather chnages world wide and it is difficult to predict anything at the moment :( Diane

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  36. Johari, thanks for your comment, visit and for following. Keep well Diane

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  37. Words Of Deliciousness the only consolation is that unless we have a big freeze it cannot get a lot worse :) Take care Diane

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  38. Gaelyn with all the driving you do you must well know what it is like and there is not a thing you can do about it. Take care Diane

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  39. So, welcome back, Diane!
    Sorry about the weatther.... in the south it is even colder: 10°C today!! :)
    I love your new blog presentation, what an improvement!

    I enjoy seeing your pics in a larger scale, your flowers are exquisite!
    Well done and patience, the sun is returning soon now! LOL!

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  40. Welcome Home Diane, it was really lovely to hear from you. I understand what you mean about the garden looking like a jungle we had the same problem on our recent return from my Birthday trip! Will be looking forward to hearing all about your meet up with Leon and Sue.

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  41. I am so glad you made it safely home. I loved your photos of the cliffs of Dover. You were able to capture a fairly panoramic view of them. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  42. It must be nice to be back in your own home again.
    That weather looks terrible - really not nice driving in that.

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  43. Noushka I hope you are right about that sun!!
    Re the blog format, I could not do this before as I was using the small laptop. It is now difficult for me when I change back as I do from time to time. The new laptop is still not 100% but I am using it once more. It does make me realise though that people with small screens have a problem with the wider format!! Never the less it will now stay this way :) Take care and keep warm. Diane

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  44. Linda I spoke to Leon this evening on the phone and I am really looking forward to meeting up with them tomorrow.

    Yes the garden was a nightmare. Lots of rain before we left and then sun while we were away. Bad planning!!!

    Keep well Diane

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  45. Mary the windows on the ferry are always so salty and we are not allowed on top any more. It is difficult to find a clean piece of glass to take a photo through!! It is good to be back. Keep well Diane

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  46. Ellie it was really horrible weather to drive in and the spray..... We are both happy to be home again but it is chilly even here at the moment!! Take care Diane

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  47. Glad you are back home safe and home! That rain looked ugly. Nice to see the pictures of the white cliffs of Dover and the harbor at Calais.

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  48. Michel that rain was just horrible but thankfully we are safely home. Glad you liked the photos of the white cliffs and of Calais docks. Diane

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  49. Welcome back Diane. If it's any consolation, it's raining cords here in Provence and has been for days. I don't have a garden and I'm NOT enjoying the weather!

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  50. Welcome back, been sunshine here, no rain, honest:-)

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  51. Hi Diane, the weather in the UK has been pretty atrocious for the last few months but it has really picked up today and I hope there was/will be sunshine with you soon. Sorry you had to deal with the weather here along with everything else.

    Thanks for lovely comment on my blog, I'll be answering properly in the next couple of days. I did want to say that I know I owe both you and Dolly visits but it is just so tricky to plan anything at the moment. I will try my best to sort something out next year work permitting. x

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  52. Welcome home! We have been having a lot of rain here too! I wish the sun would come out to stay!Have a fabulous week my friend!

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  53. Whoa, its really pouring out there... well, you reached safely and that's what matters. The white cliffs of Dover look real nice...

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  54. I'm glad that you have made a new post. Drive safely, despite the weather :)

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  55. Hi Diane, glad that you're home safely. So good to see you again.

    Thanks for sharing the photos but not a pleasant experience to drive in heavy rain and it look quite bad. But love the French soil, very beautiful.

    Have a nice day, take care. *Hugs*

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  56. Delana maybe not having a garden is the answer at the moment, it is hard to keep up with everything!! Once the sun does come out everything will just take off, but to just have some sun I will me more than happy with that. I am fed up with chilly weather now. Winter was late arriving now summer as well! Keep warm Diane

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  57. Paul and Roz, it looks like maybe no rain for a couple of days but the continuous cloud cover makes it very chilly still!! Diane

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  58. Froggy the weather here is not a lot better at the moment, it must improve sometime soon I hope.

    Looking forward to a possible visit next year, that would be good news. Take care Diane

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  59. Serena I wonder what goes on with all these weather changes. I just want to get some heat in my body and be able to stand in the sun!!! Diane

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  60. Karen you are right it was pouring! Problem is though it is still cold with it, I want summer proper to arrive! Take care Diane

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  61. Olga I hope that you enjoy the new post. As I say it will be a bit erratic but..... Take care Diane

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  62. Amelia you just cannot believe how we relaxed once on French soil. The main fact being the roads not having cars nose to tail all the way. Now we just want some sun here as well! Diane

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  63. Crikey! That weather looks awful. Glad you made it back safely.

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  64. So glad you're back - what dreadful weather!!
    Mary x

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  65. Tommo I just hope things have improved for you on your motor bike. Fingers crossed for you Diane

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  66. Mary Mum's Kitchen, it was enough to put us off wanting to ever do the trip again. Hopefully next time the weather can only be better! Diane

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  67. I am sorry for your loss. It's good to see you back to posting Diane.

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  68. Those pictures show well what a terrible weather you had – I hate to drive when it rains like this, and it is dangerous too. So glad you made it safely. I hope the weather will clear up completely so you can get busy in your beautiful garden.

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  69. hi diane, nice to see you back. I hope your computer problems is solved by now. Why about the weather? is it very cold now at your place?

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  70. Welcome home! Sorry you had to drive in bad weather.

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  71. I'm glad you're back safe, despite the weather! I hate driving in the rain.

    I've nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger award on my blog at
    http://ladyjustine.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/being-versatile/

    because I love reading your blog so much!

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  72. Vagabonde, it was really horrible drive and we were glad that we were not the squashed car!
    Lots to catch up with in the garden, we are far behind this year with the colder weather. Keep well Diane

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  73. Lena it is still much colder here than it is normally at this time of the year and the garden is very slow. Hopefully summer will arrive very soon and we will get some hot days! Diane

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  74. Christine's Pantry thanks it is good to be back, both home and blogging again. Diane

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  75. ladyjustine we are also glad to be back home the weather was diabolical!

    Thanks for the award, but as you will see in my right hand column I am an award free blog so I will not be passing this on. Thanks so much for the kind thought though.
    Take care Diane

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  76. My daughter lives in London and she said that they've had almost 6 weeks of rain with the sun peaking out only here and there. Your pictures tell a good story of this! I know you're so happy to be back in France. I'll actually be there myself in June but only in Paris. Wish I could come visit you and your lovely part of the country!

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  77. The Café Sucré Farine sadly for us meeting up, we are a long way from Paris. What a shame.
    That rain was just too terrible and driving in it was a nightmare! Diane

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  78. Toutes mes condoléances et heureuse de te savoir de retour.
    A bientôt

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  79. Nadji, merci beaucoup. Bonne journée à bientôt. Diane

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  80. So glad you made it home safely in that rain. I have heard of the white cliffs of Dover but have never seen them. Thank you for the picture.

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  81. welcome home..It is not a good feeling when travel in this kind of bad weather, so glad you made it home safely..hope to hear from you soon.

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  82. Hi Diane .. the weather has just been awful - but for the last week or so - is just bliss. I went to Cornwall and back .. and the drive was lovely - beautiful May blooms.

    Good luck with sorting the garden out - and see you around soon .. love your posts of in and around your locality ..

    Cheers Hilary

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  83. kclily, the white cliffs are quite something and of course we are lucky as each time we cross by ferry they are either the first or last thing we see of the UK. Hope that all is well with you. Diane

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  84. Sonia it was a really horrible drive and we were more than happy when we left the rain behind! Take care Diane

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  85. Hilary I am so pleased that your drive to Cornwall and back was kind to you weather wise.

    We have a lot to do in the garden, the weeds have grown well but everything else is very late due to the terrible winter.

    Take care Diane

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  86. Wow, that's a lot of rain. I love the view of the last two shots.

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  87. welcome home! thanks for sharing the photos.

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  88. chubskulit thanks for the comment, you are right that was a lot of rain!! Take care Diane

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  89. love2dine, thanks for the comment and it is a pleasure. Keep well Diane

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  90. So glad you are back home. The pictures were something else. Not a fan of driving in that kind of weather. Makes me very tense. We have been having rain off and on..but nothing like that.
    I can't believe it is the end of May.I seem to be getting very lax with my blog..it has to be spring fever..ha..good excuse.
    Have a happy weekend. xoCarolyn

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  91. Carolyn I know the feeling well!! Sometimes it is very difficult to to put your mind to blogging!!!

    That drive was awful.

    We just seem to be so behind with everything this year as you say I can not believe May is around the corner, the late winter has put us totally out of gear!! Take care Diane

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  92. Glad you made it home okay. That's a huge amount of rain!

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  93. The Golden Eagle, not a fun drive I have to admit. Have a great day Diane

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  94. I can smell the sea :-) thanks for sharing these pictures

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  95. Tina I wish we could add some smell to the blogs, it would be wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to pass a comment, appreciated. Diane

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  96. What a rough ride! It's raining season here too. But love when rains visit at night. I enjoy listening to the sound of it....so peaceful.
    Kristy

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  97. The white cliffs of Dover always make me emotional. I am glad we in Ireland missed out on that dreadful weather they had a few weeks ago at home in England.

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  98. Dolly the White Cliffs of Dover are always quite special. The last thing you see when you leave and the first thing you see when you arrive. I have to admit this time I was glad to see them disappearing :) Diane xx

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