Conditions across Belgium and France are really grim - without four wheel drive and winter tyres (not to mention the chains, survival suits and three
day's rations) we might well have felt nervous. As it is, we know we can get through just about anything provided the roads are not blocked by dead
lorries. Fortunately, the lorries all seem to be parked up in service stations and there is very lttle traffic.
Eventually we arrive at Calais where we find lots of restaurants open.
The Eurotunnel train has two levels and we are downstairs. There is no delay and the train just crosses to the UK without drama.
We eventually reach Manchester where we are greeted by lots of snow and animal activity.
We go buy a Christmas tree at Friar's Roses and find that the price has been reduced from £39 to £25. I suggest that maybe we should wait until after
Christmas as the price will undoubtedly drop even further but there is distinct lack of enthusiasm for the idea and we leave with a Christmas tree
wrapped in a special covering thanks to a clever machine that looks like an early jet engine.
In the evening we go to see George Clooney in The American - a first rate film despite what the reviewers say. Many of the latter seem so brainwashed by loud, overacted films that they cannot cope with long periods of quiet tension - they need people to be yelling and grimacing like chimps on steroids. Well done George, I am now a fan.
Not a lot happened today.
We set off for Betty's in Harrogate which is magnificent as usual but there is a worrying number of morons on mobile phones.
My girlfriend has a bad cold or flu and I feel ill in sympathy so we stay in all day.
Father Christmas brings me lots of nice toys including a solar powered car from the Science Museum. Unfortunately it only works when you hold it a few
inches from a high intensity light source but it is the thought that counts.
Really, it needs a solar panel about ten times as big - thereby ilustrating the fundamantal problem with solar energy.