Friday 7 February 2020

Back to the boat

We are now back on the boat for a couple of night on the way to London where Mike has a meeting Monday to Thursday. As in previous years, Christine is coming as well since the hotel charges by the room rather than by person. She can then explore more of London.

We managed a good get away this morning, leaving the house by just after half past nine (but Mike did forget to redirect the phone so if you read this and wondered why no reply, try the mobile!) Traffic was moderate and we made good progress with a brief comfort break at Sedgemoor.

However, as we approached Junction 21, with traffic a little busier, and driving with the flow in the middle lane, a flat truck tried to pull in front of us from the slow lane into a space that was not enough. What then made it worse was that he had forgotten that he was towing a rather large empty trailer! We were side swiped into our front left wheel which caused us to swerve around but fortunately we were able to regain control without straying into the path of another vehicle.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, he pulled onto the hard shoulder before we did - Christine managed to persuade him to go off at the junction just ahead rather than risk life and limb for any longer than necessary on the main motorway!

Whilst the driver gave us his details - he is employed by a small transport company - he was not especially apologetic but, at a guess, was rather more shaken by his experience than he wanted to let on. Fortunately, apart from some cosmetic damage to the wheel trim, the body work was unscathed and, as far as we can tell, the car suffered no other damage. Still, it was an unwelcome reminder of how quickly things can go wrong on a fast moving motorway.

At the boat we found all well - for once! - and we did not have as much as usual to unload. After a mug of tea, filling the water tank etc and chat to neighbours, Mike was allowed to go off to photograph some more gravestones (his continuing diversion). Although it was fast approaching sunset, he was able to do quite a bit at two churchyards to take general pictures that show the layout and are important later when it comes to tying each memorial to a specific spot. This is something that is not always done on listings of memorials and, as we know from experience, it can take some time to locate a specific grave even with a photo, if all that one knows is 'south of the church'.

Eventually we were all sorted and unpacked - even if just for  couple of nights, but we will be back for another few after London - and then it was time to prepare an evening meal. Our plan is to travel to London, via Birmingham, around lunch time on Sunday we are meeting some friends in the evening) but are a little concerned that the radio news is indicating that trains may be difficult as a result of high winds from the latest storm in from the Atlantic. Maybe we will pop to the station some time tomorrow when in town to see what the local advice is.

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