I couldn’t find my shaving gear this morning. I needed to look my best for no reason other than I didn’t want to turn up at Blackdown looking like a well attired tramp. Not that Paul would care as long as I make myself clear and bring a cheque. Not finding shaving gear is clearly move related. Not finding it for an hour because someone who shall remain nameless plonked it in a basket full of shoes, and then put more shoes on top was unfortunate; It was Amanda by the way.
So I missed the 8am window for leaving, this meant that all the pissing about required at the start of the journey, such as getting fuel, doing tyre pressures ((which really were in need of doing), cleaning the billion dead green fly from the windscreen etc didn’t get finished until 10am. So really I didn’t properly get on the road until 10am. I can mitigate not fuelling last night, with the reason: the motor home was in a secure parking space outside the flat, and had I moved it even an inch, someone else would have claimed the parking space and I would have had to leave our valuable cargo in the hellish place called Paranoia... yes really that quick and by that tiny margin. You think parking in London’s hard; try Southend on Sea with double yellows outside your own home, and no access to off street parking. For Fucks Sake Permit parking would have been a better option. Southend borough council is becoming a bigger pile of poo each day I spend here seeing how they have ruined the place.
Any way I digress.
Six and three quarter hours of relentless miserable drive later I’ve completed today’s mission. The van has been delivered to Paul, we’ve had a chat about my drawings such as they are (I haven’t had time to enlarge the originals, but Pauls no fool and I think we are on the same page). Colours are an issue, the price has jumped ... er ... a lot. I did ask Amanda if she wanted to bail out and just forget the plan to travel this year, and just do the van ourselves in our own time and live to fight another day? But she said, in for a penny in for a pound ... Fool money his and a parted are easily ... make a sentence out of that. Or realise that you could be dead tomorrow, so fuck it “All in” after all; you can’t take it with you, and if you’re willing to shovel shit you’ll always have a job, to get some back in the coffers.
I’m now on the train coming back to London, on the last available train my “Super Off Peak” ticket will allow. The ticket allows me to travel on any train one way before 6pm. After 6pm the ticket wouldn’t be valid or I’d have to pay the peak fare difference. Like anyone gives a monkeys about that except me, right this minute. Let’s just say it was a close call.
Last time I made this journey, it was not nearly as long in my mind ... the driving bit that is. However this time I did do miles of South circuit M25 road works, an accident induced miles long jam, a vehicle fire (never seen the remains of one of those before ... almost exciting) induced jam, a million mile long queue before Stonehenge, a million mile long queue after Stonehenge. It’s two hundred and ten miles from Southend. Ninety of those miles are after Stonehenge, where the A303; while pretty and scenic, does become a bit of bind because it frequently drops to a single lane. The part of me with a train ticket deadline kept shouting in my inner ear, that somebody ought to do something about the A303 and its congestion, the part of me that wants the Southwest to remain an awkward destination for the masses to reach thus putting them off, suffers the trauma of jams and stop start traffic for literally miles and miles and miles in the knowledge “you always get there in the end, and at the start of your new day, it will haave been worth it in spades”. What I should have done, was leave at 6am, suffer the traffic over Dartford bridge and a bit of rush hour shite at the M3 junction of the M25, and gotten well in front of the weekenders on the A303 ... and shaved the night before. However if I remember right, the night before I was still step cutting and insulating the redundant wiring and hiding the ends away in secret places and re-stacking the loose Motorhome equipment logically and stably for the long journey.
Time is a precious commodity, once spent never to be accrued again. This is one of the real lessons of the last 18 months, 168 hours a week, that’s all you have, look at a week in hours and all of a sudden life is very short indeed.
Seat update: The seats a fucking pig if you have to sit it for six and three quarter hours, even with twenty minutes out for a pee and a pasty ... also worth pointing out that the person who suggested peeing on the pasty lied.
What else can I say, that isn’t just padding? The train journey back, when you aren’t hemmed in by cuttings, is spectacular as far as Woking ... then it gets a bit built up and crappy. I have some photos of board and lining material to show to Amanda, I need a beer and something to eat, but I have at least two and a bit hours of travelling left to do. I’m going to sign off now, I’m waffling and trying to stay awake ... makes for a tedious read.