It was like driving in an oven….
The heat this morning was heightened by the added humidity caused by low clouds, oh deep joy. After the hair lacquer of yesterday I did my best to style it but sweat and humidity just sent it in to an undecided flop. We drove from the hotel through Tamworth, into Lichfield, stopping quickly for a ‘comfort’ break at Curborough and because of the traffic we had to forego Unit 12 and head up through Rugeley, past Shugborough Hall and into Stafford, and out again to meet up with Annabelle and Bryan.
We found Annabelle at the back of the pool under the shade of the trees, bliss, and with her was Maggie and Tony who I’ve not seen for a year. Fabulous to see them and catch up. We decamped into the cool of the lounge and just sat and chatted about what has been happening for all of us. Saw Sarah and Barry, and Laura too. Annabelle gave us a tour of the house with all the new windows insitu, and the builders beavering away upstairs with insulation. It’s looking amazing. So exciting to see it coming together.
Soon it was gone 3pm and time to get across Stafford to the M6 and headed to IKEA. So much traffic, but then as we turned into the IKEA car park and it was very quiet. In fact it was bliss up in the restaurant, no queues, and so many tables to choose from. So what does Dave do but choose one that is hidden behind a Coffee or a Tray collection point and I’m wondering round calling his name… he’s on the back wall as far from anybody as he could possibly get!
We decided that there was no point in rushing as it was very near to the rush hour so we ambled around but even though IKEA has excellent air con it was struggling with the heat! Thankfully when we went downstairs it was a great deal cooler. I finally got my step stool so I can reach higher than the bottom shelf of the wall cupboards in the kitchen 🙂
After 5.30pm we got back in the car and started the real journey home, the M6 was ok, with the M5 S-L-O-W! Roadworks and contraflow, single lanes, speed limit of 30mph. But by the time we got through there we had been on the road nearly an hour and were just passing the M42 junction. But on the plus side the queue to leave the M5 was about 5 miles long!
I drove the first leg and got to south of Worcester before I was flagging. Dave took over and then we got past Bristol and then stopped again at the half way point at Sedgemoor Services. Dave continued to drive past Exeter, and instead of opting for the A38 towards Plymouth we head down the A30 towards Launceston, the sun is setting beautifully to our right, the sky is pink, peach and gold fading into a gorgeous turquoise and then deepening to dark blue with tiny pin-pricks of stars starting to appear. We pass the signs to Castle Drogo and turn into the services where I stand in line to pay for a pint of milk behind the guy who does all the film reviews on BBC – Mark Kermode – I play it cool totally ignoring him and pay for my milk… lol.
I then took over the driving and now realise why we don’t do the A30 – its sooooo busy! And the hills around Dartmoor are very long, my Rob-car is fab until a long slow climb, where he struggles to keep the speed, loosing all power – this is just a characteristic of a 1000cc engine. I had to say sorry on one hill as the 2 lorries I had been powering past caught me up as my speed dropped 20mph as the hill was way longer than I’d thought… embarrassing!
As we entered Cornwall the light was fading fast but we cheered! It was lovely to drive over Bodmin Moor and we waved at the Jamaica Inn. I was very happy to see the exit for Lostwithiel. Got all the way to the island to turn towards Lanhydrock – ROAD CLOSED! So did another spin round the island to exit onto the A38 and with the twists and turns I can understand why there are so many accidents along this road.. Oh was I happy to see the turning to Lostwithiel… 4 more little miles and we were home.
Now I was in my comfort zone, narrow wooded lane, dipping and diving up and down hills with no one else on the road. This road leads us to the Duchy Nursery and again we waved hello to the one of our favourites cafes. Then it was down the lane, past the elbow trees and down to the A390, into Lostwithiel and home!
Dave had left the bathroom light and extractor fan on…. aghhhhh not just a total waste of money but poor neighbours hearing the buzzing all night! Fingers crossed they didn’t hear it. We don’t hear our neighbours – so I’m hopeful!
Anyway that’s it – we’re home, we’re happy, we’re very tired!