Today my friend and I went on a "jolly" across the top of the country into the Lake District - and all for a pair of flight socks!
Well - that's a bit of an exaggeration - we fancied a day out, I wanted two pairs of flight socks before our holiday and I knew of a little shop over there that sold them. So off we set, my friend, me and three dogs - Jem, Millie and Lucy. It was a perfect April day - just the sort of day Robert Browning was thinking of when he wrote Home Thoughts from Abroad. Blue sky, sunshine wall to wall, the first of the wheatears on the tops, a skylark just rising off the ground, two oyster catchers peeping loudly overhead, cherry in blossom, daffodils everywhere - what a day.
We started off in Wensleydale and then turned over the tops into Swaledale, on into the wild country. Once we were near to Nine Standards Rig on the top of the Pennines, we stopped to give the dogs a drink at a lovely little beck with a strange bridge - I have put the photograph on for you to see. Why on earth would anyone build a bridge like that?
Once at Kirky Stephen, a pleasant little town, we ventured out onto the A66 Trans-Pennine route - a very dangerous road full of heavy traffic and best avoided. But we were only on it for a few miles before we turned off to the village of Morland and the Travelling2 shop. What a lovely little village.
Peaceful and quiet on a Thursday afternoon we headed first for the Mill Cafe and a bowl of carrot and orange soup with home made bread - and a bottle each of elderflower cordial - delicious on all counts.
Then to the shop, which is really a mail order shop but which was good to look round and produced some fine flight socks (and a pair of trainers). Then it was a quick tootle round the gardens (lovely with daffodil, celandine and grape hyacinths), a nip back to the cafe for a cup of tea and a slice of cake each - then we set off for home.
What a lovely day we have had we said smugly as we coasted along the A66 amid countless long-distance lorries. Just as we were going up a rise on a bit of dual carriageway (the road is not all dual carriageway, which is why it is so dangerous) my friend's car lost all power and coasted to a halt. Luckily she managed to pull on to the grass verge but in a very dangerous position. There we rang the AA.
"Get out of the car - take the dogs - get to a safe place and we will send a breakdown lorry!"
So we got out and climbed up the bank and sat there. And waited.
Lorries passed and tooted their horns. We knew they were thinking - look at those silly women parking in such a stupid place and sitting sunning themselves on the grass! (sorry any male readers - but their expressions and hand signals said it all. ) We were tempted to return their waves with hand=signals of our own, but resisted the temptation.
The break down lorry came, with a charming young man and we were taken back into Bowes, the nearest village - where after a thorough going over the young man could find nothing wrong.
And so we came home - warily, in case it happened again - but we got home safely = so a lovely day out which ended in a bit of drama. But, as they say, all's well that ends well.
So thank you Glennis if you read this, for a lovely day out.
This is my three hundredth post, so here's to the next three hundred!