Europe, 1963

Because I was taking the car onto the European mainland, the General Accident insurance company gave me a pamphlet warning me that the “rule of the road is reversed, and failure to remember this has been the cause of serious accidents.” Well, it was raining very hard when I arrived in Ostend, Belgium, at 11:00 pm on Sunday, 18 August, and almost immediately after driving off the ferry, I drove the wrong way round a traffic roundabout. Thankfully, though, the road was deserted and I didn’t have a serious accident, but I quickly turned into a side road and spent a very uncomfortable night trying to sleep in the car. My diary’s two-word summary of the start of my two-month sojourn on the continent was simple: “Lousy night.”