Most of my time was spent in the southeast, flying into Gatwick (Emirates 22,000 THB return) and staying at the following places for 3-5 days each; Crawley (Surrey), Rochester (Kent), Hornchurch (Essex), Hythe (Southampton), Folkestone (Kent), Strood (Kent), Stratford (London), Chalgrove (Oxfordshire) and back to Hornchurch.
- The weather was diabolical, even in “summer”. It was the longest day when I wrote this, summer solstice, and it had been pissing down cold rain with wind, fog and a temperature around 14 degrees. There was even a hail storm one day – ice falling from the sky in June, I think there was about 4 days out of the 5 weeks with clear blue skies and sunshine. Needless to say I was rucked up in several layers and a fleece jacket for most of the trip.
- The day I got off the plane I got hayfever, something I haven't suffered in nearly 20 years living in Asia. Snot and sneeze attacks were a regular occurrence every morning, I guess there is simply more pollen in the colder climes of the UK whereas in the tropics plants are more likely to be pollinated by insects instead.
- Everything seemed a lot cleaner and more orderly, no plastic all over the place (you have to pay extra for bags), no feral dogs roaming the streets, neatly cut verges, hedges, trees and well taken care of gardens. People seem fanatical about their gardens in England (most of which are postage stamp sized) which is surprising considering the weather is too abysmal to enjoy them!
- The daylight took some getting used to and I dont think I ever really did during the trip, it was like having jet-lag every day. I would wake up every morning at 4am as that is when it got light, had to tie a t-shirt around my head to get back off to sleep for a couple more hours. I could never tell what time it was and bright daylight at 10pm was just bizarre, the light seemed clearer also, it felt as if the clouds and sky was further away. Seasons are definitely something missing in Thailand where over the course of a year it gets dark at the same time and is just 4 month periods of hot, hotter, and wet.