Up country

…but back Saturday.

We’ve come the 245 miles to see mum and whilst we are here I’m getting my hair cut…yes I know it’s a long way to have a hair cut and I know there are plenty of hair dressers in Cornwall…. it’s just I’ve known Penny for a very long time and she understands my fine unruly hair.

We set off at just gone 11am and I drove the first leg of the journey, stopping first at Waitrose at Saltash for coffee and a Danish, and to buy sandwiches for lunch, then it was back on the road, over the Tamar and into the rain clouds, it drizzled then hammered it down as we drove through Devon up to Exeter, as we approached the M5 it went very foggy, then more rain all the way up to Somerset – much-needed but a right pain to drive in.  At Sedgemoor Services I pulled in as I had done 120miles and my eyes were tired.  Dave went and got coffees to take out and I got in the passenger side, wound the seat right back, got the neck pillow and fell fast asleep.  I slept all the way through Bristol and over the Severn, waking just as Dave pulled into Michael Woods Services.

Back on the M5 I fell asleep again and woke up all hot and bothered, the temperature had rocketed and the sun was blaring through the windows.  We were near the M42 now and Dave took this to avoid a huge traffic queue that continued on the M5.  I needed a ‘comfort break’ so we stopped at the services and popped into the Drive Thru Starbucks.  It was as hot inside as it was outside and they had the most ugliest air con unit in the middle of the shop which was being fiddled with as it wasn’t working.  We ordered some iced drinks (I had iced Peach Green Tea) and we went out to the car which was parked under the trees so it was cooler there.  We didn’t really want to get back on the M42 as it was now approaching 4.15 and the rush hour was about to begin.  But onwards we must go…. through the speed restrictions and the stop/start that happens purely from the volume of traffic.  We wound the windows down only to breathe in the nocious fumes around us but at least we got a breeze.  Stop/Start all the way to the exit to Lichfield/Sutton then it was a short run up the A446 and down the lanes to the Marston Farm Hotel.   The room is cool facing the gardens which is a pleasant change.

It wasn’t long before we had to be back on the road again to meet my sister and neice and nephew in law at Faro Lounge in Lichfield.  What a nightmare journey this proved to be!  We drove through Middleton village and up to Bassetts Pole island but was stuck in a right build up of traffic as there was road works at the island, as we approached the island one of the workmen put a sign up saying A38 northbound CLOSED.  Grrr that’s the way we were going, so we had to go off and wind through the many lanes at the back of Mere Green and Shenstone.. we eventually arrived in Lichfield at 6.45pm.  Dave and I had dinner whilst we were there and we caught up on Jess and Nicks impending move to Scotland, and the various operations my family is looking forward to this year!  My sister told me about what mum would need when she came to stay with us and I duly took notice!  We were all done and dusted in an hour and they went off home, we went up Dam Street and sat on one of the benches overlooking Minster Pool.

I needed my Lichfield Cathedral fix.

Everywhere seemed so big and bustling, with traffic and people everywhere.  We got back to the car and drove back to the hotel via the lanes as the A38 was now closed Southbound too.  As we got on the old A5 at Hints we saw a cluster of old gypsy caravans and horses grazing on the grass verge.  We stopped so I could take photos and I got chatting to the youngest girl Roseanne who told me all about her life style, mum and dad had been brought up as travellers and even though she’d lived in a house until she was 5yrs old her mum and dad wanted the freedom of the road again, and they have been travelling in a big circle from Redditch in the south all the way round the outskirts of Birmingham, stopping at places every week or so until the grazing ran out for the horses before moving on the next safe spot about 12miles down the road.  This has been the circle of life for the family for the last 7yrs.  There were dogs and chickens everywhere, a mum with her litter of 9 puppies and some chickens in cages laying.  There was a wood fire and a kettle was nestled in the embers as black as could be from all the wood smoke.  All the contents of the vans were strewn around so they could sleep and live in the vans whilst they camped.   It was an education and Roseanne was very talkative asking about Cornwall.  I took my photos and Dave made a donation for the time we’d spent, then we were on our way.

And then it was back to the hotel and the coolness of the room. Tomorrow we’re in Lichfield, taking mum to Swinfen and I’m having my hair done, followed by visiting Dave’s family in the evening.

Sally xx

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