Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm currently at Tibshelf Services.

After a quiet day on Saturday packing, I set off on probably the most ill-prepared voyage I have ever made. And I have made a few of those in my life as well as you can probably imagine.

It was about 00:30 on Sunday morning when I finally got under way and the road to Le Havre took me via Bourges, Orleans and Chartres. Parts of the road were really quick and I made quite good time, whereas others were ... err ... not so quick. Especially navigating my way through the cities with the endless strings of traffic lights. Finally I found a service area about 20 or so miles beyond Chartres and that's where I spent the night.

And it was freezing as well - frost and ice everywhere - but a few years ago I stripped an old Volvo saloon and that had heated seat pads in it. And so I wired one up to one of these powerpacks, and you'ver no idea how warm my feet were in bed (until the battery went flat of course).

So next morning I set off again and made good time - so much so that I took a little diversion to visit St Valery-en-Caux.

St Valery had an ominous, if not sinister role in World War II. As the front against the Germans collapsed in June 1940 the British sent the 51st (Highland) Division to shore up the front line. The Division landed at St Valery but unfortunately the Germans arrived there first and the Division landed right into their arms and were immediately marched off into captivity. There is a monument to them in the town - it's the thing pointing up on the skyline over there.

The sinister bit though is that it was never very clear just WHY the Division was packed off to here when the rest of the British Army was being evacuated at Dunkerque, and what it was thatwas the reason that they landed even though it was extremely likely that the town had already fallen - or at least - was likely to - and what 15,000 soldiers could do that 300,000 could not.

Anyway, the town was so interesting that I lost all track of time and had to go like hell to get the ferry. And 5:30 of comfort in the passenger lounge on the ferry brought me to Pompey.

A huge plate of chips was supper and then up to Towcester and another good spec in a layby for the night. And Brain of Britain forgot to heat his bed.

Today I've been to Radiospares, Vehicle Wiring Products and IKEA at Ilkeston. And tomorrow I'm going to blitz Stoke on Trent.

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