Derbyshire 31 - Chesterfield , Clay Cross , Happiness is all in the mind, The girl is back, end of the year thoughts from a small isle

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December 27th 2016
Published: December 27th 2016
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Happiness is all in the mind - hold that thought. Our girl is back. Last week we had to drive over to Nottinghamshire to pick her up. The journey was as always interesting as our two sat nags contradict each other on which is the best way to get to Gunthorpe. One suggests one road and the other wails that there is a better way. Human instinct is such that the thoughts go through our minds to throw them both out of the window and get back to the tried and trusted method of using a map. We arrive and are invited to go and check Suzy over. If we are happy with the work we can sign the warranty claim and take the old girl home. However , how can you check a repair which mainly is on the roof which you cannot see and need a ladder to get up there. We could see the new shiny white tape on either side but had to trust that the work had been completed to our satisfaction. Time will tell as no doubt the rain will stay away for a while but when we least expect it the drops will seep in and shower us as we drive along. We drove home again with Sally Sat Nags shouted as if in competition to find the best route home.

The advent calendar has been opened and we have taken a chocolate journey across Europe. From the apricots of the Mediterranean to the citrus lemons of Sicily. From Cadiz with its oranges to the snow capped peaks of the Swiss and Austrian mountains. We have tasted the delights of Belgium and the strong espressos of Italy. The trees are up , the wreaths take to the furthest graves away. Christmas is just around the corner . The weather being unseasonable does not feel like Christmas. There is fog. There is rain. We have occaisonal damp days and others where the sun weakly shines upon us. We still count the days down to our Greek Odyssey as the April/May holiday is now named. The ferry is booked from Ancona to Greece . We are 800 euros lighter in our pockets. The passport application is completed but wont be sent off until after the Christmas break. We need a new Caxton Card. The current one runs out in April whilst we are away and we don't want a repeat performance of realising it has run out when we are in Greece. We will order a new one after Christmas when the post can be relied on to deliver it. I believe though that cash is king in Greece and maybe the card won't be that useful to us. The postmen are threatening strike action. The railway drivers are striking . The Supreme Court are still deliberating about Brexit. The EU ministers want us to get on with our divorce from Europe but it seems rumbling on since the referendum in the summer.

Happiness is all in the mind. - The ACSI book expected before Christmas has not arrived . We pre-order it every year and every year it fails to turn up. We will order that in the New Year.

We have been nowhere . Christmas 2014 was spent in the Dark Peak, last year spent in Cambridge. This year it was spent in our home with just our turkey, our thoughts of Christmas past , present and future, We look back over trips this year and we have done well as always. We look forward to trips in 2017. Suzy is going nowhere at the moment. She is hemmed in by a ditch dug to hold the gate posts that will in the end give her some privacy and will make the back garden more private. A garden in which to erect a greenhouse, grow tomatoes and tend young plants. A sitting down patio area and perhaps a man shed to sit in on a warm summer evening. It all feels a long way off as it has been too foggy, too wet, too damp, too cold and too icy to do anything. The bad news is that it will continue for some while yet. The good news we have passed the shortest day. From now on the nights will draw out by 5 minutes a week over the next four weeks. We can look forward to getting on the road again. Just thinking about what next year will bring brings a smile to my face. Happiness is all in the mind.

I plan in my mind a round Britain trip. This is something I started many years ago in the early 70's. Starting at Dover the trip took me along the South Coast and ending up at Lands End. Another year starting at Ross on Wye we traversed the north coast of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall joining up again with Lands End. A short road trip started in the Lowlands of Scotland and finished up at John O' Groats. So much to see so maybe 2017 will be the year the great Round Britain in Suzy Roadtrip picks up again where it left off all those years ago.

What have been the highlights of the year so far? Our short trip to North Yorkshire and the mighty castles of that part of the world. Returning to Aigues Mortes. Looking at the sea at Senj with the wind howling a gale around us. Italian food eaten in Italy and eaten in other countries. Just being on the road. Hot strong espresso coffees, tiramisu and panna cotta. Going back to Gibraltar after all those years. Getting a well deserved sun tan. Some things so small but they bring a smile to my face. Perhaps on this cold old December morning we should think about the later holiday of the year. For once we have not given it a thought. Greece has taken over. We must start 2017 with a resolution that we will make the most of each day as it comes. That might be something we do at home or abroad. We must plan and then take plans apart. We must enjoy whatever the weather brings us whether it rains or shines and most of all keep remembering happiness is all in the mind.

Happy Christmas - Nadolig Llawen to my many Travelblog friends who bring the world to my door with their blogging and inspire to me to keep on blogging. Happy Adventures to all of you for 2017.


27th December 2016

Your ROund the British Isles trip sounds fun...
something that Linda and I have in mind in the not too distant future. Like you I am always planning the next trip or two. But we should never forget to enjoy each day where we live no matter what the weather!
30th December 2016

round the british isles
and when you do Bob , we must make sure that your path crosses ours Happy New year to you both
31st December 2016

Your Round the British Isles trip sounds fun...
We would love to, but right now Linda doesn't want to think about travel. Once she puts the Christmas decorations away, maybe then we will have time to plan. I'm always ready to plan a trip.

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