Day 4 of Romance Holiday
July 4, 2012

My weather forecast was correct. We woke up to constant rain this morning. We never saw the sun. The only thing variable today was the speed of my windscreen wipers as we drove back from Cornwall. They went from standard speed to fast depending on how hard the rain was falling. I know I have gone on about the weather, but really you have no idea how bad it was (and is still). I have been coming to the UK for 3 years now every month and I have not seen weather like this in all that time. It is hard to describe even. Words like abysmal, appalling, atrocious, abnormal, arctic – and that is just using words starting with ”A” that come to my mind. I am sure I could get through the whole alphabet if you pushed me. I won’t try to describe it any further. Here is what it looked like on the way back to my parent’s home today:

I did promise some more photos once we had better internet connection (which we now have for 2 days at least). So here are two of the promised pictures, Tregenna Castle and St Ives. This was the last (and only time) we saw the sky and sun.


And then of course we need the photo Lara & Broccoli.

That is the closest she would get to it I think.

Well back to today. We left for the drive back and decided because of the poor weather that we would take the shortest route. Turned out to be a good decision (see opening paragraph and picture). We stopped on route at a ‘Services’. These UK ‘Services’ are world famous. They are meant to have everything you might need. What mattered most to us was working plumbing and lunch. The Devils Restaurant (as Paul calls it – the one with the big yellow M) was not to be found but they did have Burger King. Most of us (excluding G&G, C and H) went for that option and we all agreed that it is much better than MacDees. Stephen kindly pointed out that the hamburger did cost R90 though.

We got back to my parent’s home at 3pm and headed out almost immediately to stock up on food for the next two days (9 people of which 4 are teenagers do eat a lot of food). The supermarkets here allow you to self-weigh and self-checkout. Just imagine that in SA. Everyone would weigh their fruit & veg with only 1 or 2 pieces in the bag, get the sticker and then go and add in double or triple that. And self-checkout! At least half the items would never get scanned and would just go straight into a bag. Consumers would love it but the stores would be bankrupt in days. The store we went to (Waitrose) even has self-scanners that you take with you and the trolley and you scan as you go. Brilliant idea that also would never work in SA. My Dad used to do it (at least when I last went with him to Waitrose) but we understand they have now figured out he is South African and so they audit his cart every time so it pretty much defeats the purpose of self-scanning. They insist the system ‘randomly’ picks out people for audit but after the tenth or so straight audit and an argument with the manager he gave up. Quite stupid really because when I was with him he double scanned a couple of items by mistake.

We decided to have a braai for dinner. Why not? Pelting down with rain, about 15 degrees outside. But then it is mid-summer. So we got the umbrella up and fired up the gas grill and did what all good Englishmen do in summer – had a barbecue. It was a great family dinner and the leftovers were put out for the local friendly fox so that he too would be well fed. There was a hope to spot the fox but I doubt we could see him through the rain anyway.

Well that is it for today. Off to bed now. Tomorrow we will aim for indoor activities (for obvious reasons).  Until tomorrow …

5 thoughts on “Day 4 of Romance Holiday

  1. Our philosophy re UK weather is that if you go expecting rain all the time, IF you do get a few minutes of sunshine, THEN you have a bonus!!! We’re sure France will be better, even too hot, maybe! Enjoy yourselves!

    You can now probably understand a little better why, whenever you are in conversation with somebody living in UK, at some point the topic of the weather will be raised, usually as a moan or groan.

    But now, with tongue firmly fixed in cheek: It’s not for me to question your spiritual standing but there is an old saying that says “The sun shines on the righteous” So where does that leave you? 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. If I read my Bible correctly then it says “the sun shines on the righteous and the unrighteous”. My question is where is the sun?!

  2. So can you describe the weather using adjectives starting with all the letters of the alphabet? Please humor me.

  3. I have to say … whilst I am sorry for you and all my UK family and friends, I LOVE the dramatic foggy picture through your windscreen. When we went home 3 years ago, Christmas gone, they had the first of the two snowy Christmases (which we arrived in time for). As we headed back to T5 Heathrow, on the Tube from Knightsbridge, the view was very similar except a snow laden heavy sky, with all that sci-fi glow that comes off the land and buildings, and flakes coming down so heavily, it was like Space Invaders (that ages me!).

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