DAY 211 (Trips: home and abroad)

Well, all is nearly back to normal..ie: I’m cleaning the house (for a change), Hubby is back at work, I decided to have a coffee break and found myself here in front of the PC with too many thoughts in my head!!

Love the way you get two colours for the price of one with this plant

We’ve had a wonderful short break visiting family and friends…approximately a 200 mile drive away.  It took about 3 hours to get there – we had a really good trip and maybe broke the speed limit a couple of times unintentionally! The motorways in England are in good condition and if we choose our starting time well, we don’t run into any of the rush hour traffic.

I also received the wonderful accolade of The Lovely Blog award from Peace of Iran and this led me to another blog…..Persian Posts and sat reading that for an hour or so this morning.
I don’t know if you are aware that Hubby is from Iran although he has now lived in Europe for more than half his life, he is as European as they come!! We’ve had a couple of trips over to see his family and they have been some of the most memorable times of my life.  Contrary to the general image people have of Iran, it is the most incredible and wonderful country.  The Iranian people are some of the kindest I’ve ever met, they are so welcoming and just love it when a foreigner visits so they can introduce you to their country.

A visitor to the garden (not mine I may add!!!)

Thinking of our easy and stress free drive over the weekend brought me to thinking about the state of driving in Iran.  It is an experience to say the least, first there are just ‘so many’ cars….it is bedlam on the roads! There don’t appear to be any rules, it’s each man for himself. Driving around Tehran can age you by 10 years in a 30 minute period! The cars are so close to each other that you wouldn’t dare open your window on a hot day and drape your hand out for fresh air!! (Not that the air is fresh, it’s so hot in the summer and the pollution so thick that the fumes catch you at the back of the throat!)

There is a distinct lack of wing mirrors on the cars in Tehran!!
Drivers warn each other of their position by tooting horns so there is a constant background noise in the city, day or night!
We drove from Tehran to Mashhad which is about 560 miles and it takes about 8 hours…through desserted land…dotted with the odd village, stopping off on the way at some of the more interesting towns and sites. The road is a two-way carriage way and the drivers in each direction use both lanes only pulling in to single traffic when they meet another car coming towards them!! Sometimes they don’t even do that and you end up 4 abreast…it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted!! I seemed to spend an awful lot of the time looking at my knees when I’m there! (Looking out the window at the oncoming traffic is a definite No No!! unless you have nerves of steel!)   I put my life in their hands and hope and pray that they regard me as precious cargo!!
After having done this journey by car a couple of times, we have decided that it would be much safer to go by train!! Which again is the most wonderful experience, we book a couchette for 6 just for the two of us, we close the door, spread out, relax and enjoy the countryside from the window in safety!! Travelling through the night is as amazing as travelling by day, the trains are so long that you can pop your head out of the window and see the lights at the head of the train cutting through the sheer blackness of the night.  The smell of the clean air in the countryside/dessert is just exhilarating. The brightness and vast number of stars visible is awe-inspiring as there is no light pollution.  In the morning after a good night’s sleep, you are woken by a knock at the door and you are presented with a tray of freshly baked bread, served with beautiful cheese and jams (my favourite is Rose flavour) and accompanied by rich black tea with sugar, on proper china plates and real cutlery, no plastic disposable rubbish!! Ah the memories!!

After the rain

Anyway I digress, this was supposed to be a post about my trip in the UK!! The photos are from our time away however and have absolutely nothing to do with Iran!! Although I did mention rose flavoured jam!!

About to pop, Clematis in my sister’s garden

My sister’s garden is a little haven, it’s quiet, not overlooked and she is the one in the family with the green fingers. She has created a wonderful little spot full of beautiful flowers and she has birds that visit so often that they have become incredibly tame when humans are around!

Perfect Flight

While we were away we caught up with friends that we hadn’t seen for over 4 years and it was fantastic, to just pick up where we left off as if we hadn’t been apart.
As for the family, what can I say, they’re brilliant! Our family is getting larger by the day with great nephews and nieces and I’m glad to say we have another one on the way, who is about to put in an appearance…to get everyone together is a joy….if not slightly noisy!! We all have rather big voices in our family and when we’re all in one house….there is a huge increase in laughter, chatter and decibels. It’s a delight – maybe not for the neighbours though!!

Ah now that’s what I like. Pink wine!! Reminds me of the sunshine!

So I raise a glass, to family, friends and blog readers…..hic!

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