Well I've made it back in one piece, although sadly I must report that's more by luck than judgement.
A week ago I met up with CHJ in the south London suburbs and we drove to the coast, just in time to miss the boarding of the ferry, so after a delightful two hour nap on the quayside we go on board. Fortunately CMJ is a frequent traveler on this crossing and marched us strait to the only bit of the ship with couches big enough to sleep on and I didn't wake up until we were already docked in France.
France soon passed and we were treated to an insight into the Belgian plan for European supremacy. Not for them the subjugation of their neighbors by force or even economic might. No their plan is far more fiendish. They welcome you to their little country and all roads take you through their capital, a place where war and a town planning department staffed by Ferrari owners have left them with the strangest mix of architecture.
Once you're there, there you'll stay. There is no escape.
Signage to Brussels is everywhere, clues as to how to leave are non existent. Those fiendish Ferrari owners are so contemptuous of escape attempts that at a T junction they frequently present you with two opposite choices of direction to the same destination. Being six in the morning there were no locals in sight, just angry foreigners driving every more erratically in their desperation to leave. Brussels has become the capital of Europe, not through superior fire power, force of arms or political machination, but by holding visitors hostage on their labyrinth system of ring roads. After two hours in the vortex we did achieve escape velocity and had crossed belgium in less time than we'd spent trying to leave Brussels.
The first good omen of the trip was in Luxembourg, a small country that i could easily have passed through with out noticing.
Feeling a little weary and compelled by natures call. We pulled into a lay by and watched a succession of well dressed women announce their embarrassment by using a strangely exaggerated gait to cross the picnic area in search of the relative privacy of the forest. There is a great French tradition, (I'm using 'great' in it's sense of 'often' rather than 'fantastic') of littering the countryside with unburied toilet paper, fast food packaging, broken drinks bottles and the scat of truckers.
CHJ had elected to have a nap in the car so I took a wander away from the murderous looking truckers, and desperate holiday makers and found my self at the top of a scree looking out over a small marsh that abutted some planted pine forest. As I sat on the scree and scanning the forest's edge, I just 'knew' that I was in the vicinity of deer. I cant tell you how I knew but I was suddenly sure if I sat still a deer would show up. Amazingly it only took a few moments, sitting clam and still with my eyes holding a relaxed focus on the middle distance, before my peripheral vision flashed up a movement in the bushes. A Roe Deer with 6-8 inches of antler was making his way from bush to bush in search of some tasty tips. The whoosh of traffic didn't seem to spook him, the wind varied blowing towards me of across the space between us. He kept feeding. After about five minutes I lifted one butt cheek and farted. He Looked right at me, I held still. An expression of 'I'm sure I heard something' flashed across his face and he went back to nibbling. I thought of you dear reader, and in the light of his unspookability, I thought I'd get get the camera from the car and take a picture to show you. As soon as I stood and
More Soon - stay tuned it gets better