Monday 25 August 2008

You can't have everything

14st 1lb, not a bad result considering the estimated 14.0 units of alcohol I consumed yesterday evening; 1,259; Hartside.

A typical August Bank Holiday in England. We spent the early part of the afternoon crawling along the single carriageway section of the A1 between Felton and Morpeth, in a huge line of cars doing about 20mph behind some farmer chugging along in his tractor and grain trailer. He might have been gathering in the harvest, or he might just have been being a total bastard because he can’t stand tourists. There is quite a lot of that feeling around in Northumberland, in my experience.

Then we had a late but deliberately cold lunch with my delightful aunt in Morpeth. The LTCB talked a little about the endearing eccentricities of her elderly parents, and my aunt tactfully refrained from pointing out that they are precisely the same age as her elder son and only marginally older than I am. However, she had a look in her eye which clearly indicated that that was precisely where the conversation would be heading next if I did not remain on my best behaviour.

We left around teatime and I drove the LTCB back to Cheshire by the scenic route through Alston. I had had some misgivings about this, envisaging that we might end up stuck in a long queue of slow Bank Holiday traffic rubber-necking at the scenery, but amazingly we did not see a single vehicle in front of after we turned off the A69 until we arrived in Melmerby, on the other side of the Pennines. On the other hand, the stupendous views from Hartside that I had hoped to show her were completely obscured by low cloud. What else should I have expected on a Bank Holiday Monday?

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