Once I had loaded all the excess boxes and plants into the van, I had two days to myself. I had dinner with my Uncle Geoff and Aunt Pat (who also let me use their shower) and used their internet to try change my ferry booking so I could come home early. Changing the ticket would have cost me more than the original return ticket had cost, so I decided to stay until my original return time; Sunday. I booked myself into a hotel near where Susan and I had been living (it was cheap) and slept like one of the innocent (after having another shower - I don't know if you can go into credit with showering, but I did attempt it).
and clean, and cost only £36 per night if booked online.
Not bad for a hotel only 30 minutes from the centre of London
but this is one of them
On Saturday I checked out of the hotel and went to the nearby RSPB Rainham Marshes reserve. This was where Susan and I, one bitterly cold February afternoon whilst voluntarily picking up litter from the Thames foreshore, decided to move to France. If the weather that day had been like it was on Saturday, we might still be living in London...
Once across the river I parked in tourist filled (and I do mean filled) Greenwich, home of the Cutty Sark, the Royal Observatory, the Royal Naval College (now Greenwich University Campus, currently being used for filming The Wolfman) and the National Maritime Museum.
The orange ball drops at 1pm so that ships
can set their timepieces
On Sunday Morning at 4.00 I left Jono's house, and in the 10 metre or so walk to the car was the victim of an attempted mugging. Nothing was stolen, (the mugger was so stoned he didn't seem to notice I was carrying a camera and a briefcase, he only wanted my phone) but I do have a lump on my jaw where I was punched. Only my pride (and my faith in humankind) was really hurt, but it wasn't the best way to end a weekend away.
We were well impressed with the van hire - I had booked 5 days and 2000 kilometres, but in the end I only did just over 1500km. When we were presented with the bill it was 5 days - and 1500km. I used just over 100€ of fuel which means I did about 30mpg even though half the time I was carrying a full load and travelling at open road speeds, and it had long wave on the radio which meant I was able to listen to the cricket.
I do feel now I have now arrived in Preuilly after two weeks of officially being here.
PS - we had the world's weakest thunderstorm yesterday evening - 4 drops of rain and a couple of thunderclaps. It wasn't even enough to water the plants.