However, visions of a romantic stroll along the beach front, or a carefree amble around the walled gardens of Normanby Hall were short lived and disappeared in a puff of black, oily smoke with his next words:
“We could have a lovely ride out to Grantham,” he suggested,”and collect Ciggys’ new door tops from Rocky Mountain Spares.”
Sigh! The lot of a Land Rover Owners Wife is a hard one.
So bright and early this morning, with the girls safely installed in school, we set off on what turned out to be a neck jarring, back aching journey along the winding roads of Lincolnshire.
We are quite blessed in our neck of the woods, in respect of the number of motorways and decent A roads at our disposal but on this occasion Mud decided we would take the scenic route, bypassing the major towns and taking in the beauty of the rolling countryside. Sadly the torrential rain which plagued the entire journey limited the view somewhat and the peace, tranquility and togetherness of our journey, was sorely tried by the leaking passenger door, to which Mud hasn’t as yet fitted the brand new, still in its’ packet door seal we bought two years ago to solve this very problem.
I would like to point out a this juncture, that the drivers door was fitted with its’ new door seal, bought at the same time, within 48 hours of the parcel arriving and, as a result, rainy days aren’t as much of an issue for the driver as they are for the passenger. So whilst the driver stays nice and dry, protected by the thick, black two year old door seal, the poor passenger is showered with huge, cold droplets of rain at every left hand turn and bump in the road, not to mention every time the driver applies the brakes or accelerates away.
But I digress, I’m ahead of myself, I need to go back to the start, to the point where we left the lovely, straight, smooth ‘A’ roads of North Lincolnshire and ventured into back road territory, where potholes have been known to swallow HGVs whole, road camber angles are off the scale and road signs have become so rare, the locals believe they are the stuff of legend. Legends that tell of signs for speed limits, place names and mile markers, of ‘sharp bend’ signs and chevrons which could be found before the bend not after it.
Mile after mile of rough surfaced roads we traveled, with cambers more suited for a wall of death than a country road and 90 degree bend after 90 degree bend, a large percentage of which seemed to be left handers and pretty much all off which required sharp braking due to the appalling lack of adequate signs giving advance notice of an approaching bend.
Drip! Drip! DRIP! Every left hand bend, every application of the brakes, every press of the accelerator, the camber, the potholes ….. drip! Drip! DRIP! Sixty eight and a half miles there and sixty eight and a half miles back. I was wet! Correction, the left hand side of me was wet!
“Well I’m soaked,” Mud pointed out, when we stopped for lunch on the way back from collecting the door tops,”I’ve had to drain the oil from the crank every 30 – 40 miles or so! In the rain! Lying on the wet road! You should have reminded me to bring a spare t-shirt to change into!”
Hmfph! Really! How old are you again?
The last bit of his reply was in response to my not very happy reaction to the news that instead of having a lovely romantic lunch in a restaurant, we were going to have fish and chips in the car because Mud was soaking and his jeans and T-shirt were now filthy from having to get under Annie to drain the oil AND the journey had taken a bit longer than anticipated and we needed to be back for the Mudlets getting out of school.
The fish and chips were nice and as we sat in Annie, a green Series 3, 109 drove into the car park and the old boy who was driving it came over to have a chat. His series was an ex-MOD left hand drive, just a year younger than Annie.
We finally set off for home with about 2 hours to spare and so Mud decided to call into a beautiful cafe we had passed on several occasions and never had the chance to stop at. ‘Claytons Corner’ in Howsham North Lincs, we found out today, is a lovely place to unwind and Mud treated me to a slice of caramel topped apple pie to go with my pot of tea, whilst he had a coffee.
The coffee shop also has free Wifi and a nice selection of craft wares for sale and I found some 2 – 3 inch high knitted teddy bears amongst the offerings which were perfect for the Mudlets’ special teddies who had spent the whole day on their own in the house and deserved a treat. Oddly enough the Mudlets seem to think the tiny teds are theirs ……..
So we ended the day with a soggy but happy Mud, two happy little Mudlets and an exhausted Mrs Mud who is still owed a slap up lunch …….