I didn’t realise how long it’s been since I blogged, but then most days at present I’ve no idea what day it is and when I wake I’ve no idea where I am. In fact we are back in Ilkley, we left Lazio last Friday and arrived here on Monday evening. We had three overnight stops thinking that would make the journey easier, it seemed to make little difference at all, we are still exhausted.
We had good and comfortable hotels, the last night in France at the one that last time upgraded us into their chateau sister hotel. This time they just upgraded us to a better room but we did get to take breakfast at a greatly reduced price in the chateau. It was a delight, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, good coffee, delicious croissants all in such elegant surroundings, I tried to look the part.We visited Epernay in the champagne region and admired the glamorous champagne houses, a few brave people were sitting outside tasting but there wasn’t the holiday atmosphere we felt when we drove past in September.
We stopped again at the Arass war memorial to pay our respects and search for the memorial of a friend’s great grandfather who died in 1917 and has no known grave. Sadly we couldn’t find his name though his details were in the memorial book. When I got home I contacted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who were so kind and helpful. They gave me more information and directed me to the War Graves Photographic Scheme. Within half a day I had photographs of the memorial name, the panel in which it is engraved, pictures of the memorial and a map, all of which I have passed to the family. I was deeply touched by the dedication of these people, I’ve made donations to both organisations.