I'm so very lucky to have lovely relatives to stay with when I visit the homeland; the thought of turning up to a lonely B and B every two and half months when I visit mum, is not be a pleasant one.
So, I hired the car, turned up at my cousins and was welcomed into their cosy cottage.
Odd, the two-life thing: all the familiar smells of the other place, my pairs of shoes where I left them, the book I was reading last time, marked and waiting.
I made a cup of tea and automatically reached for the radio: radio 4, old friend - desert Island discs (superb one featuring Hugh Laurie this week), the news quiz, midweek, even the shipping forecast (thought they had moved that?) and news, and news . . . ninety percent depressing: cuts, cuts, whinging politicians and whistle-blowers trapped in the 'high seas' of airports.
Of course, we can get Radio 4 back in the land of horse meat but I never want to listen to it there: just doesn't seem right. Sadly there isn't really an equivalent; France Culture is . . . just that, incredibly informative and full of cultured people who speak in wonderfully unhurried elegant speech, peppered with 'la la la, le le le, en revanche, errrrrr, etc. But where's the John Humphries person, or 'Sorry I'll read that again'? France info is informative but manages to be racy and dull at the same time, so I rely on Tele Matin for news and enjoy radio 4 when I slip into the second life for a week or so, along with fish and chips and people moaning about the weather, which they are doing here this year of course.
Here are some snaps from my travels:
The beach at Canford Cliffs: a very favourite spot, almost completely empty despite the fact that it was two days away from July.
Me, proving that I did get in the sea. Really I did; it was about fourteen degrees and there was only one other person in it: a man in a wetsuit. Bracing, darling.
A perfect piece of topiary. I would have taken more pictures, but a slavering Doberman came and asked me what I was doing.