We’ve all gone on a summer holiday

A collection of climate stories mostly

Andrew Howells
6 min readAug 18


Courtesy of the ABRP app

The build-up to a holiday is important. The planning and preparation sometimes more fun than the holiday.

It reminds me of childhood Christmases and great expectations when the bumper double week edition of the Radio Times magically appeared from Mum’s shopping bag. I’d studiously sit at the table pouring over listings, deciding whether we were in for a good TV Christmas or not? This was my only important contribution to the Christmas magic as far as I can remember.

True Grit starring John Wayne on Christmas afternoon again, did not bode well. Another year of too many repeats. And there were only three channels to watch.

I’ve been wearing my least favourite clothes during the holiday countdown. It includes undies, the pairs with no chance of making it into the suitcase and shirts I’d forgotten, buried deep under a pile of more popular options.

If we’d just been going to France again, I wouldn’t have bothered consulting a map, leaving it to the Tesla’s navigation as usual. But Sitges is south of Barcelona and I was interested to see what charging options existed south of the border?

A better route planner (ABRP), is helpful for European travel. The map confirmed what we soon discovered, Spain’s supercharger network is just as reliable as the French one, at least it is in Basque country.

We made other changes. Instead of Eurotunnel, we tried the overnight Brittany ferry from Portsmouth to Caen. A cabin, the promise of sleep and an early start for our long journey, all seemed well planned.

The Commodore class cabins (could only be on a ship), with twin beds and a window, must have sold out months before we booked. Instead, we were confined below decks, one level above the cars without a window. The only upgrade available was to buy another one. Adding solitary confinement to lack of sleep, didn’t seem particularly smart.

The rumbling engine, which I originally thought was the ship reversing out of port was in fact normal progress across the channel. The vibration rattling around our cabin finally became part of my dream as I struggled to find a way to…