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Day Twenty-four: Last day but one

283 miles further down the road after a 5-hour drive. I left Tayport in pleasantly mild weather and all went well till I doubted the sat nav. (Yes, I know: there’s a definite theme appearing!) Thankfully, my mistake only added 11 miles to my route and got me to Bothwell in time for my morning coffee break (with blueberry muffin).

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On the road again and Gretna for lunch – sadly outside the village so no sign of the famous blacksmith’s where runaway lovers from England could be married over the anvil.

The next stage of the journey was horrid: pouring rain and blinding spray for mile after mile. A case of fierce concentration and a steady hand on the wheel. Not to mention Divine protection!

But the sun came out again and I was able to enjoy the rolling hills of the Border country and the north of England before encountering roadworks. I’d hit roadworks coming up the east coast route so was determined to take the west coast route on the way home in hopes of avoiding roadworks – but it was not to be. Summertime and the roadworks are in full force!

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In truth it only slowed the journey a bit and was not too bad. So here I am now, safe and sound, at Wetherby, the last stop before home

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having an attempt at afternoon tea. ‘It’s afternoon tea, Jim, but not as we know it.’

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Day One: First stop, Wetherby

It’s five past six and I’ve arrived at the Days Inn, Wetherby, 203 miles from home, first stop on my travels. The delightful (and young) receptionist was completely unfazed by my inability to remember my car number so I could have free overnight parking. I had to go back out and write it down!

But it’s been a good day. Not weather-wise. That’s been grey and drizzly throughout. I’ve had the car headlights on and the windscreen wipers going intermittently the whole afternoon.

But it’s been a day with lots of joy in it. First of all the Partnership service at Emmanuel Church, Bungay where I caught up with so many friends.

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The service was designed as a blessing for their retiring Methodist minister but I found it spoke to me of my setting out on something new and unknown. If I may quote the closing prayer/benediction:

We go seeing the glory of God in all the world;

We go carrying the name of Jesus to every place;

We go witnessing to the good news through the Spirit within us.

Alleluia. Amen.

One of my concerns about this trip has been the long hours of driving. A number of years ago I rather foolishly hurtled back from a trip to Somerset, doing the five and a half hours without a stop! As a result I damaged my right knee. The (younger-than-me) doctor said it was arthritis. ‘I’m not having that!’ I declared. ‘I’m not old enough!’ and was told firmly that oh yes I was!

He arranged for me to see a physio and after a consultation I was sent off with exercises, and instructions that I could only drive for one and a quarter hours before I had to stop for a break. I dutifully followed instructions and the knee seemed to have healed up. But I know how easy it is to wreck it and have been worried.

So today, I was a good girl and stopped for an apple, a sip of water and a walk around a layby after the first hour and a quarter. But when the second hour and a quarter was up and I was scanning the road for a service station with a cafe where I could have a comfort break, none hoved into view. For another three-quarters of an hour.

The good news is a) the knee seems ok

and b) at the Little Chef I stopped at, they were serving hot chocolate brownies with vanilla ice cream. Nice!

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