What has always amazed me about England is that in a country no bigger than British Columbia, with a population of 70 million people, there can be places in the heart of the country where there is virtually no one around. On my last day in England I excused myself and took off for a drive into the Yorkshire Dales, a national park around two and a half hours from where my sister lives in Lincolnshire.

The drive was nothing short of wondrous: beautiful scenery on a bright, sunny day with relatively little traffic. I drove through little towns with tiny pubs and humpbacked bridges, along narrow roads with stone walls through rolling brown and green hills dotted with sheep. And it was like that for hours! It was utterly charming and delightful, a wonderful tonic for the soul.

Coming home was a little less delightful. I made the mistake of thinking I could get home more quickly on the M1. Major mistake. It was a three lane parking lot, nothing more. I got off at the very next exit, which fortunately was only three miles down the road and headed for the back roads again. Rosey had loaned me a decent road atlas and I wove my way home on some very pleasant country roads with no trouble at all.

At the end of the road, just a few miles from my sister’s place, I stopped for a terrific pub meal: broiled plaice and roast vegetables at The Red Lion. Pubs are still by far the best places to eat in England, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. All together a great trip home, my only regret being that Pam wasn’t able to join me in it. But Air Asia has just secured the right to land in England, so there may well be a next time!