It's been five years since we left my homeland for this annex of the UK and since then we've only been back twice. So it's not surprising then that seeing the old place has a powerful effect on me. To emphasise that effect we wallow in the country by taking the ferry and driving for bloody hours (six to be precise) rather than jumping on a plane just down the road from us and landing an hour or so later within 15 minutes of our final destination. Gluttons for punishment we may be but the rewards are great.
Driving aboard is always exciting, all the more so at dawn; two hours at sea is great fun; disembarking on the other side, in Stranraer, is thrilling; and the open road generously provides amazing fews of a country that while still relatively small, globally speaking, seems so much bigger than our little corner of Ireland. England (and Scotland) is beautiful.
But I'm not going to rattle on about the drive, there's much to blog over the next week or so, I just want to give an ultra-brief synopsis of some (but by all means not all) of the visual highlights of our time over there, just for the record. And they are:
_ Cranes at dawn
_ Lego-Streaker at Lego-Wembley
_ Our lovely friend's converted water tower (that's our room)
_ A child's view of a horse's nostril
_ Duck eggs in nest
_ An untidy turkey chasing stroppy chickens
_ Lovely, lovely (lovely) foamy beer
_ The church we got married in
_ A dead rat on a yellow tarpaulin