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We’ve been up since 07:00 having breakfast and finishing packing up the chalet to begin the drive back to Yorkshire later today. This could be interesting as Dawn and her parents may have left a lot of presents behind, but they’ve gained a load too and now there’s me and my camera bag to fit into the vehicle! This could get cosy!

Fortunately, the weather’s looking OK. We’ve a mild but cloudy day to look forward to with no rain forecast anywhere on the 4 hour drive back to West Yorkshire – although as we’ll be stopping off on the way for coffee and lunch we’ll be on the road for longer than that. Let’s see how this goes…


It all fits! Mind you, you should see what’s in with the rest of us in the passenger saloon…

So, it’s goodbye to the chalet that’s been our home for the past week.

Next stop, coffee with Darren & the kids in Farnham…


Fuelled – up on coffee, pain au raison and having bid adieu to the Surrey branch of Dawn’s family it’s time to hit the road, thankful that we’ve dodged the elderly idiot in a Bentley who nealy caused a crash in the Waitrose car park! Well, it would be, wouldn’t it?


We’ve just come off the M4 at Junction 13 to head cross-country on the A34. Apart from the ever-busy M4 the roads have been surprisingly quiet allowing us to make good time.


Well, the A34’s lived down to expectations! Despite the general lack of HGV traffic on the roads this route is a main freight artery to/from the busy port of Southampton. Add in the fact Oxford’s saturated with cars and the A34’s the town’s by-pass we’ve now got snarled up in heavy traffic.


We made it through the traffic before flitting along an equally congested M40 for one junction then headed up a less busy A43 to reach the M1 where traffic was heavy Southbound but reasonable (for the M1) heading North.

We’re now having a pit-stop at Watford Gap services. The busiest of the eateries here is the one I never use anyway – McDonald’s, where folk tap in their orders to touchscreens before queuing for their burgers. Whilst Dawn and her folks relaxed in the adjacent Costa coffee I went for a wander and took this shot looking North up the M1.

The M1 at Watford Gap. Surprisingly quiet.


Home! The rest of the journey wasn’t bad at all. Traffic thinned out the further North we got and the only surprise was when we passed above the car parks of the Meadowhall Shopping Centre outside of Sheffield. They were absolutely rammed!

Leaving the M1 at Junction 35a we headed over to Huddersfield to drop off ‘the folks’ and their bags, then (considerably lighter) we drove cross-country back to home. Despite it being Saturday night, life in West Yorkshire seems quite subdued. Most of the restaurants and pubs we passed were mostly empty. Presumably people are hording what money they’ve got left from the Christmas excesses for New Year. I can’t say either of us are going to be painting the town red tonight either. The moggie needs some TLC and there’s plenty to sort out before year (and decade) end…