Storm Eleanor just so happened to be battering the coasts of the UK and France as I crossed the English channel on New Year’s Eve. It was the penultimate stage of my trip from Rome to the south coast of the UK and by that point ( complements in part of a canceled boat that stranded me in Calais for a bonus three hours ) I had been on the move for over 25 straight hours.
Upon departing the ferry in Dover it was a brief pair of walks and a short train ride to the regal Southcliffe. I had intended to spend the passing of the year in a pub, perhaps joining in drinking songs and carrying on. Before any such jubilation could commence however there was a pressing need to eat as I had not eaten more than two bags of crisps since boarding that train in Rome. To my delight an Indian Buffet presented itself. I am somewhat embarrassed by the volume of food I put away but it was quite delicious and I quite hungry.
The downside to so grand sized a meal was the food coma that followed. I spent the passing of the new year not in some pub but on top of the sheets in my creaky twin bed at the Southcliffe sawing logs. I’m not sad about it. New Year’s was always more of a sad holiday for me than a celebration. So quickly the joy of Christmas is abandoned for a wave of champagne, confetti, those god awful horns that unfurl when sounded and countdowns. Then what?
My sadness was short-lived as I headed out the next morn for the famous white cliffs. For what to my wondering eyes should appear but a store whose name features two words I never really considered putting together.
The wind it did howl out there above the sea. It was invigorating, cleansing and after not too great a period a bit too cold for comfort. I know the audio is pretty poor and I apologize for that but you can get a taste of the weather from Eleanor below if you so desire.
There was one afternoon when the storm clouds cleared for a few hours and those of us fortunate enough to be county Kent at that time were grace to a delightful sunset.
It was a lovely little stop and I hope I find my way back there again sometime. But the road moves ever onward and I had to press on. I had the good fortune of watching a thrilling match between Chelsea and Arsenal in a pub in London. I don’t think the hooliganism is near the problem it used to be but it was a little awkward being the only person who cheered when the Gunners equalized in the 93rd minute.
Good grief was the trip long. 3 hours at the airport before being stuck on the plane another 80 min before takeoff, followed by 8 hours of flight time and finally an hour and a half at customs got me to the streets of Mumbai. The tuk tuk ride from the airport was both amazing and a bit terrifying. I don’t have any pics of the country yet as I have just been sleeping off the jet lag and have an early flight tomorrow but fear not: the Himalayas are soon coming. Anyway, till next time ta ta and enjoy this scene from the Bollywood flick I saw this morning.