Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Coppicing and Shopping

Chestnut Coppicing
I have just returned from a 2 week trip to the UK.  Most of my time there I was tree felling/coppicing, as I have done over the last few years.  We were extremely lucky with the weather whilst there.  I had packed extra clothing plus three water proof jackets but, thankfully, these were not needed apart from a couple of hours on one day.

We finished working last Thursday and from Friday onwards I caught up with friends and seemed to spend a lot of time shopping.  Having been to the health food shop in Dartford I made the mistake of going on to the Blue Water Shopping Centre. In France there is not the Christmas hype as in the UK and I completely forgot what is like. Well it soon became my idea of living hell.  When in the UK, Blue Water was our local shopping centre but I had never seen it so full and I have never had to park so far away from the centre itself.  I only wanted to get some teaspoons from House of Fraser (the same design as we already have) but having parked I decided I would look around and see what other things I could tick off the shopping list. Ugh. I spent a lot longer there, mainly because it as all so slow moving. It wasn't until I arrived back at the car I realised I hadn't got out any cash and I needed some for the Dartford Crossing toll.  No way was I going back in. Luckily found a cash machine at a nearby supermarket.

Bury St Edmunds
Once out of there I made my to Suffolk.  One of our gite guests had asked if Tom and Ben would like their Lego, Meccano and books that they did not use any more. So I said I would collect it whilst in the UK.  I arranged to stay with friends in Ipswich which was very handy.  I drove up to Ipswich on the Friday evening, via friends in Billericay.  On the Saturday I went to collect the Lego etc. and then went and did the tourist bit around Bury St Edmunds, plus looked around more shops and had a very delicious fish and chips.

My friends in Ipswich very kindly said I could stay on the Saturday but as they were out I would have to fend for myself. I decided to go to the St John's Mill Theatre in Ipswich and saw 'Dial M for Murgatroyd'.  A very funny and enjoyable Christmas Panto (adult) Spoof. Other members of the audience I spoke to make this 'Panto' an annual pilgrimage and I can understand why.

Sunday morning I decided NO shops (a very easy decision) and went to Felixstowe.  I had a lovely, albeit it blustery, walk along the seafront from Felixstowe to Felixstowe ferry and back. I then drove to Epsom and stayed with friends there. Monday I drove to Poole and did more Christmas shopping and some food shopping for those UK essentials (tea and bitter).  I stayed with friends in Poole overnight before getting the early morning ferry, Tuesday, back to France..

I had a lovly trip to the UK both work wise and catching up with friends.  Thank you all for letting me stay and thank you Peter, Andrea and Sam for the Lego etc.- which the boys are very happily playing with as I type.

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