In many ways, not having a car has been fortunate. While we had to board a train to reach pals in the New Forest over the weekend, it turned out to be far easier than driving both in terms of time and general ease. A journey of just over an hour and we were there, bar a short walk from the railway station.
The weather over the weekend was not good: rain and blustery winds, which intensified on the day we left into a full-blown storm. Throughout the south west there have been power cuts, heavy seas, cancelled flights, rocky seas and, of course, disgruntled travellers trying to get home for Christmas. Television news reports have been full of crowded airports, station concourses and the obligatory shots of storm-ravaged beaches, aircraft landing sideways and uprooted trees.
None of this bodes well for cycling, although, according to weather reports on the radio, Boxing Day is likely to be fairly good, so a ride might be possible. Cue traditional fruit cake and tea on Woodmansterne Green!
Outside now, the wind has dropped considerably. In fact, as I write this I can hear birds chirping and the trees are no longer waving about frantically in the garden and elsewhere. All is still. Earlier I discovered that two sections of our fence have blown down, which is made doubly irritating by the fact that one section had just been fixed after the last blast of wind.
Today it is Christmas Eve and ahead lies the celebrations of the festive season. Our tree has been up for the past week and we're preparing ourselves for the two crucial visits – to both mums. One lives nearby, the other six miles away – fine if we had a car, but two buses (or two trains) if we don't.
Looking forward to the Boxing Day ride to Woodmansterne Green. Here's hoping the weather holds.