A ferry crossing can be so much more than just a boat trip, or a booze cruise. It can be a leaving of something or someone behind, whether for just a short period or more permanently.

The big question is, "What do you take with you?"

Do you just pack the essentials , or also the things which make life just a bit more like home – in our case teabags are in, but also books for my college courses, a really good dictionary, language discs as well as the obvious things such as clothing, toothbrush and all the rest.

But this isn't any run of the mill crossing.  This time we are leaving the United Kingdom for mainland Europe.

There is a feeling of tension at the port. Which lane do we drive into? Lorries are being searched, so it's slow progress through passport control. We will perhaps catch sight of some car being waved to one side for a thorough search. Hopefully it isn’t us, even though we have nothing to hide.

All that packing and unpacking. Would we ever get everything back in?

Then there they are, the  ferry docks and there is the seemingly interminable wait until the final vehicle descends the ramp and loading begins.

But it isn't over, once up in the passenger area, where shall we sit?

Do we want coffee?

Is there anything we actually want in the duty free shop?


Do we need any of it?

Probably not.