9.5 Degrees of Welcome Home

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So, before we went away I set the thermostat to “we’re away, stop the house from freezing”. We got back at around 0130am yesterday and the house was at a wacking 9.5 degrees C. Fortunately, our duvet is superkeen thick and lying under it, curled around Kathryn kept me warm.

So anyway, we piled into the Volvo after my nights, flowing from the house pre-packed bags, et al, and hurling ourselves down the Motorway. Kathryn drove because she’s lovely and I’d obviously just come off a night shift. We made it to the ferry with about 45 minutes to spare, changed money at an extortionate rate, and trundled onto the ferry where I singularly failed to sleep.

Now, because I’m a pilchard I didn’t want to go on the toll roads, a decision that sadly cost us a lot of time. We struggled through back roads of France, and my sleep deprived navigation didn’t exactly land us where we wanted to be. It was very pretty though. Having landed up in a little French town in the middle of no-where we swapped, and Kathryn navigated while I drove. We made it to about a mile from our hotel and then got totally and utterly lost. Google maps directions were slightly misleading and the whole thing was a bit frustrating.

Thankfully though, some utterly wonderful people running a little grocery store put up with our pigeon-French, drew us a map, explained, came outside and pointed, and we discovered a few minutes later that we’d hit one roundabout from our hotel.

The next day we spent in Versailles, and after that we headed to Paris, all of which I’ll cover properly in a later post. It was quite lovely though, and despite various people saying how rude the French are, the majority of French people we encountered were incredibly nice, polite and kindly put up with our atrocious and weak French.

Anyhow, I’ll do a proper post in a few days, and we may – or may not – have photos. I shot 4 rolls of Film over there, but quite a lot of what I shot was covered under ‘pushing my luck’. Large aperture, long exposure, no tripod shots were kind of the norm because it wasn’t very bright…

At one point I realised I was shooting 200mm zoom with a 30th a second exposure…and I’d shot a few photos at that speed/zoom which is somewhere beyond pushing it, in my head at least. So we’ll see. It was an unfortunate decision to have 200ASA film though, I could have really used something much faster.

Double plus unfortunately you don’t get photos today because… Sainsburys weren’t doing 1-hour photo development today.

One thing that has come out of this holiday is the decision that I do, indeed, want a micro 4/3rds camera. I loved the flexiblity of my AE-1, but got really fed up with the weight and luging around a huge bag. The idea of having a nice near-SLR with a lens or two with me – that’s nice. Not, of course, that it’s within the bounds of affordability. I need to go and play with one next time I’m in a proper town though, see which ones I get on with.

In exciting news, I’ve got some new jazz gramophone records, some 1950s french Rock and Roll and some new vinyl.

I also lucked out and found some original 1960s Soviet fiction translated and printed then as a second hand book in Shakespeare and Co. Anyhow, I’m going to have a doze…


Kate is lord and mistress of all she surveys at pyoor.org...