Friday thought #21 Travelling with a cat

 So wanting to avoid sounding like a weird cat person as much as possible, we took our cat back to the UK for Christmas… Approximately 12 hours driving plus a 2 hour ferry, each way. Sounds odd I know, but we figured it was easier and cheaper than asking someone to come in and look after him, or paying for him to stay in a cat hotel. Plus, more importantly, he’s a really cool cat and quite enjoys being in the car!

Just a few highlights from the journey with the cat: feet up on the dashboard checking out the view, sleeping on the gear stick and voluntarily getting out for a wee at a service station. We’re still not entirely convinced he’s actually a cat…!

Just checking out the scenery...
Just checking out the scenery…
Just having a bit of quiet time in the driving seat...
Just having a bit of quiet time in the driving seat…
The most awkward place to sit in the whole car, but he is a cat after all...
Who ever said that cats weren’t awkward…?!
Still interested, even after a 10 hour car journey...
Still interested, even after a 10 hour car journey…

Friday Thought #5 The importance of stopping to appreciate your surroundings

My journey to and from work, as I’m sure is the case for many people, is long and feels tiring, especially when both there and back are in the dark. Sure my commute is for the most part along a motorway surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, but it’s difficult to enjoy even the most stunning snowy peak in the pitch black of winter mornings and evenings…! It’s totally my choice to live as far away as I do from my place of work so I am in no position to grumble, however, endless hours spent in a car, especially when you get closer to the international borders and cities, can really start to grate on you. The sheer volume of traffic, the angry and intolerant (and incompetent?!) drivers, and the traffic lights, oh the incessant traffic lights!

This tedium day in day out can really get to you, something which so many people can relate to, almost to the point where you feel like you are on auto-pilot, mindlessly covering the kilometres in order to get to where you need to be, and therefore ignoring everything around you.

En route home tonight, adding to the endless stream of Friday night traffic, I took a moment to stop and realise that I don’t always need to be in a hurry. The sunset was beautiful, the mountains were literally glowing, and so I pulled over and just sat, watching the beautiful scenery in front of me. It sounds like a cliché but I’d be interested to know how many people ever stop their daily routine to simply look at the world around them and reflect on how spectacular it is without even trying. We’re all busy people and have a million and one things to do every day, but it’s amazing how peaceful it is to stop every once in a while, pull over and forget that traffic. The World is a beautiful place…

Sunset over the haystacks
Sunset over the haystacks
Beautiful vineyards at sunset
Beautiful vineyards at sunset