Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire. And back.
A round trip of 464 miles in my lovely little black mini. 226 miles to my son’s, then back via my step-daughter’s and my parents’.
I left the house at 07:50 on Sunday morning, and arrived at my son’s house at bob on 12:30. Not a bad journey at all – a dry, cold, sunny autumn day, and just enough traffic to make it interesting. I stopped at Leicester Forest East for a much needed coffee and a bite to eat. No delays except some roadworks on the A34 that knocked me back about 10 minutes. Driving long distances and generally ‘going solo’ isn’t something that troubles me.
It was lovely to see them – always a pleasure. The dogs were overjoyed to see me – but then, they’re overjoyed to see everyone. I’ve always been scared of dogs, but I’m proud that I didn’t pass that fear on to my son. They have three – and it’s been good for me. I decided a few years ago that I have to either get over it, or not go and visit them. So I got over it.
Son and I went for a mooch around Winchester. It’s a lovely town. Very English. Unlike where I live in Yorkshire, which is very Yorkshire. It’s probably only English people who will understand what I mean!!
We looked round a few shops and I did the last of my Christmas shopping – and managed to stick to my £10 per person per occasion limit.
We went into the Cathedral – I’ve been researching my family history for years and years, and one of my relatives, who came from Tasmania, returned to the UK and married a man who later became a Canon at Winchester Cathedral. So – we popped in. And we found him!! There was an actual bust of him!!
It was my birthday, so my son took me out in the evening for Thai food. Very very pleasant. And lovely to have the chance for a proper long chat.
I stayed down there for a couple of days, then headed north. I arrived at my step-daughter’s at around teatime, perfect timing to catch the oldest grandchild after she’d got in from school, and the youngest before bedtime. Once the littlest toots was in bed we had a takeaway. Big toots and I snuggled up on the sofa to watch Junior Bake Off, and she wanted to know if I’d be able to take her to school the next morning. But of course!!
That night, I slept on the sofa. I sometimes think I shouldn’t bother having a bed, as I seem to sleep better on a sofa! I dropped off before midnight, and didn’t wake up until gone 6. Then I dozed until people started moving about upstairs. Not a bad night’s sleep at all!!
We had breakfast out (smashed avocado and poached eggs on sourdough). And a coffee. And another coffee. And then it was time to continue my journey north.
I was calling in at my parents’ for lunch – when I got there they suggested we could go to their local café. The weather was truly foul, and we joked about how pleased the people at the café would be to see us, and maybe we would get some sort of medal for turning out on such an awful day…
When we got there, there was a queue!! Dad suggested their favourite pub instead, so off we went.
And then it was time to head for home. I like being away, but I like getting home too. The weather didn’t improve – pouring rain, and dark by the time I got home. Had to get the car emptied quick, get into the house, get the kettle on, get the heating turned back up. Then I realised I’d forgotten to buy milk and decided that I could cope until the morning – I really didn’t want to go back out in that!
I suppose this was my first holiday on my own. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed going where I wanted, doing what I wanted, arriving and leaving when I chose to.
The next one will be further afield – I’m already planning it.
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