Friday 22 January 2010
Moto's beacon of hope
15st 6lb, 1.5 units. We drove to Northumberland, Mrs H, The Baby, The Dog and I. Which is to say that I drove to Northumberland while the other members of the party variously slept, farted, scratched themselves and / or made perceptive but ultimately unhelpful remarks about the dreadful state of the traffic. Even by Friday afternoon standards, it was a dire journey. There seemed to be an accident every few miles that brought us grinding to a halt so that the tangled metal could be swept up and the blood hosed away, or simply so that ghouls could have a good long gawp at the aftermath. The combined benefits of satellite navigation and Mrs H’s preference for Radio 2 meant that we were able to leave the crawling jam on the M62 and admire the long stretch of crash barrier demolished by an out-of-control lorry on the M606. Then we enjoyed a scenic tour of inner city Bradford and suburban Leeds, before ultimately reaching Harewood, which Mrs H graciously announced that she was willing to add to the list of places in England where she would be prepared to live. Then we cut across country to pick up the A1(M) at Wetherby, thereby avoiding the major accident at its junction with the M1. Mrs H and I were both hoping against hope that we would finally meet the road south rather than north of Wetherby Services, given that we had both been dying for a pee for about an hour and a half and The Baby was similarly overdue for a feed. The Dog was probably pretty keen to do something, too, but we did not think to consult him. Our delight when we finally saw the Services sign before us was perhaps not as great as that of a frostbitten Arctic explorer with a broken limb, seeing the ski-equipped rescue plane circling overhead. But it was not that far short.