Thursday, 12 January 2017

Our Weekend Wanderings, Week One!

Two boys smiling, side by side, with title text overlayed.This post is a bit later than planned, in fact a lot later, but we're ignoring that. It's January, so everyone gets a dispensation to be late for everything as they recover from the perrenial pandemonium that is Christmas, and the aftermath of chaotic schedule-sabotage and tinsel-vacuuming that ensues every year. This is a new post I want to try and do every week, so we'll see how that works out, but I'm hoping it might be fun. Towards the end of last year, I ended up writing a lot of review-type posts, which is really fun to do, and I hope useful too, but I felt I lost a bit of my identity in there, so this is my attempt at getting back to writing for me. I hope you are still here and humouring me for now. You are? Fab, then I'll begin...

This weekend started really well. We had a great idea, which was the first we'd had in a while. Recently, weekends had taken on a chocolate and cake-fogged haze, as they dissolved into endless bank holidays, eating leftovers (why did I buy so much cake?!) until we couldn't even be 100% sure it actually was a weekend. In fact, I lost an entire day over Christmas, careless, I know. It was a Wednesday. Nobody really needs Wednesdays, but I was still slightly annoyed to find out that evening that it was Thursday, after a whole day of Wednesdayness. Where did it go?! I imagine it's with the sellotape, which is also impossible to keep track of over Christmas. Anyway, the point is, we were quite keen to mark the weekend, by doing something. Something fun and different from the daily grind. So we decided to go to Weymouth and visit a friend who had been very ill and could do with cheering up. It will only take a couple of hours, we said. It'll be fun, we said. Thus, famous last words hung in the air. 

Two chocolate cakes on counter, in lined cake tins.

L was really excited about the visit, as one of his friends. a fellow Youtube enthusiast, would also be there and he was planning to take him some chocolate Pokemon balls, as you do, and marvel at his new sound equipment. That's the two of them in the top right photo, looking a picture of sweetness and innocence! The night before the trip, I even made a cake for his birthday, so my friend (his mum) could have the joy of icing it, without having to make too much effort, while she was ill. All was planned. Presents, supplies, cake. Foolproof, yes? No. Not a bit of it. The best laid plans, lay tattered at the side of the M5, as, not long after we'd left the house, we drove straight into... a car park! Literally a few miles from the house. Not for the first time, I questioned my little brain's steadfast refusal to remind me to check the traffic report whenever we venture onto the motorway. Cue much frustration as we tried to figure out how long we were likely to be sitting there, moaning and passing round a game of 'Word Cookies' on my phone. Word Cookies involves finding four letter words, but none of the four letter words that we were thinking of seemed to be appropriate. 

Traffic jam on M5, taken from inside car.

The thing is, as much as we love our little car, it's advancing years sometimes make life a little tricky. Take, for example, the small matter of only being able to pick up Radio Two on the car radio. Don't get me wrong, I'm growing quite fond of Graham Norton and Steve Wright, although, I do sometimes turn down Lisa Tarbuck during especially wittery segments, but it doesn't help with the local traffic report. However, we were in luck, or not, depending on your viewpoint. This traffic jam was so monumental, it made it onto the Radio Two traffic report fairly quickly and the news was not good. The motorway was down to one lane. For miles. Oh joy. So we resigned ourselves to completing Word Cookies and making our way through a lot of packets of crisps. This was not going to dampen our spirits. Except for one small detail. The car was getting very, very hot. And no reassuring whirring of the fan. We stared helplessly as the needle crept up, and up, and up, until, as it hovered around the red, we had no choice but to park the car on the hard shoulder, and wait. For hours. Bristol to Weymouth is already a pretty boring journey and this really wasn't helping. Over two hours into the trip and we hadn't even made it out of Somerset. Once the traffic started moving at a snail's pace, we risked a foray back into the queue. The car seemed much better, but with two warning lights on, it wasn't long before we ended up here... 

Man looking under car bonnet, taken from inside car.

The car was very unhelpful, in offering absolutely nothing, in the way of symptoms. It was over its little strop, and, like a petulant child, it was flatly refusing to let us know what the problem was. So after much furrowing of brows and scratching of heads, we set off once more, still with two warning lights on, but a much happier car. Anyone that has driven this journey will probably agree, it is one of the most boring you could ever volunteer your husband for. I do feel ever so slightly guilty that I can't contribute to the driving, but never more so than that day. We still had most of the two hour journey to complete and we had barely gone anywhere! How he stayed awake is a miracle, but he did, and we made it, eventually, a few hours later than planned. We couldn't stay very long and we ended up driving for seven hours, to stay for two, but to have everyone together, even just for a little while, was totally worth it! Let's just hope the car isn't hiding some horrible and costly secret when it goes off to the garage for investigative surgery!

A happy group of people in heart surround.



  1. The whole day was awesome and I felt so bad about the bloomin' traffic jam! Ev loved seeing Luke and obviously it was brilliant having you both here even if only for a little while xxx

  2. Oh noooo what a nightmare of a journey! I'm so impressed you made it in the end, I'm afraid I'd have turned around and gone home!


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