Saturday, 13 October 2012

Back in Britain

Back in Britain for two weeks, during which it has rained every single day. What are the ten most important things I learned from a year of travelling around Europe, meeting people, seeing new places, riding my bike, and paddling my surfboard?

1) France is really good, but the lunch thing is quite annoying. 12.30, everything stops. 2.30, some things start again. 3.30, almost everything's started again. (And 6.00, everything's closed again.)

2) The Basque Country is also really good.

3) Spain is actually a bit rubbish, except the bits where the place names have lots of x spellings that you pronounce 'ch' and pelota is a religion. The thwack of those pelota balls hitting the wall is the most evocative sound.

4) If you're going to spend a year living in a camper van, get one with a shower and toilet.

5) Drivers in Europe either don't mind cyclists, or actively like them.

6) Viewed as a whole, British drivers really seem to hate cyclists. And motorcyclists. And, now I think of it, other drivers.

7) TV in general is better in a foreign language, because there's a lot more room for you to imagine what's happening. The plots are better when you're making them up yourself.

8) Not watching the evening news or reading a newspaper is very good for me. 

9) Watching/reading them really isn't.

10) All Tories are heartless shits. Plus ça change. I think this lot is actually worse than the last bunch. At least some of the 1980s Tories climbed up the ladder under their own steam before booting everyone else in the face, rather than being carried up by Daddy's servants.


  1. A year of travelling around Europe! Now my face is the colour of your blog backdrop!!

  2. I know! And during the worst British summer since records began – what are the chances?