Driving south on a sunny winter day, reaching Folkestone, pootling through the tunnel, we emerge like burrowing coypus in Calais.  The sun still shines as we finally stop for coffee in the first French services we see on the A16.  Seemed like a bonne idee spending the first two weeks of the New Year in southern France – a precursor to the hard cold endurance test which is February.

A time to breathe, to expand, to mull on how we want the year to run, waiting for the life that happens when you’re making other plans, but still making them.  All the organisation for the journey south was done on the net, so we were pleasantly surprised when Hotel Cecyl turned out to be right in the centre of Reims and slap bang next to a 24 hour garage.  Was about 4.30 when we arrived, 5.30 french time and the streets were full of people shopping, eating, drinking, philosophising .  Was wondering why I chose this particular hotel when there were others around and was quickly enlightened when we entered our room.  Giant repros of famous artists everywhere – nicely done actually – sleeping under a huge renaissance head.


The lift, the size of a sardine tin, was well worth  the discomfort although you had to be outside it to really get the picture.

and if you chose the stairs…..


We left this house of images to find a restaurant – a little tired to do much walking so we found the nearest restaurant and had a decent enough meal of fish soup and salads – and bread – oh the bread. Neil has decided he needs to lose 28lbs. Am thinking France was probably not the best place to do it.