I went to pick my mother up from up t’north over the weekend.
I first went to watch Tiverton Town draw against Bridgwater then I set off up t’road, eta Clarborough 9pm.
I had to stop at Junction 27 to top up with unleaded.
As I came out of the petrol station a chap came up to me and said “Excuse me, Are you local?”.
“Sort of” I replied.
With his AA road map in his hand he said he was having Satnav issues and was trying to get to Holsworthy.
“I know where it is” I said, “Let me look at your map”.
“I suggest you take the link road to South Molton, then turn off and head for Great Torrington”.
“So go back to the roundabout and go straight across onto the link road”.
“Thank you” he said, then showed me on the map that he had started from south of Exeter so why his Satnav brought him up the M5 is beyond me.
He went back to his car, got in and drove off.
I drove off just after him and followed him to the roundabout and guess what – he didn’t go straight across it.
He took the M5 North so whether he has got to Holsworthy yet is your guess or mine!
I had a pit stop at Strensham for a sandwich and coffee and then was back on the road and arrived at my destination at 9:01pm, not bad for timing although I did think I should have got there sooner.
I must be driving slower in my old age as I don’t think Clarborough has moved further away.
It could be all of the ‘Average speed checks’ that are in place.
50 mph around Bristol, 40mph north of Strensham and all these speed camera signs on the M42 and M1 all contribute to stifle me whizzing up the motorways.
Mother had played a blinder when I got there as she had visited a couple of new local breweries and bought me some beers to try.
I did have a nightcap from the Pheasantry brewery, a bottle of BB (Best Bitter) which was nice and tasty.
We set off reasonably early to get back as it was my intention to get back to wholesalers Costco at Avonmouth for opening time 11am.
Again despite all of the speed checks we arrived only 4 minutes behind schedule.
Christmas has already arrived at Costco so I just had to buy items on my list such as Christmas bags and Tags.
They have some cracking Christmas stuff and its hard to resist buying.
This life size Father Christmas is a snip at £200.
While I was Christmas shopping I missed all the excitement in Bampton.
My other half sent me text to say that approximately 550 cyclists on the Deloitte ride were having a pit stop at the Riverside Hall.
She messaged me a photograph to prove it and I got a similar photo via twitter from one of the riders.
But guess what happened next.
Despite all the arrangements to clear cars parks etc. a once a year event occurred.
A local farmer decided it was the day and time to drive his sheep through Bampton.
Although this was probably causing an unnecessary delay to proceedings the cyclists found it a nice distraction and more photographic tweets arrived from the riders.
When I got back my other half showed me a cycling shirt that the organisers of the ride had given to her as a thank you – the shirt is signed by James Cracknell OBE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cracknell who helped set up the event – it will come in useful as an auction item when she tries to raise money for Bampton Responders.