THE BLACK COUNTRY
I was checking though one of my old journal entries and I clicked a link to check if it worked, which it didn’t - what makes things like that change, it was working perfectly well when I last checked, Anyway it was a link to the live weather cameras in Scotland, and I casually clicked on one near where I had travelled up earlier in the year and was amazed to see a couple of inches of snow lying on the ground - and its only the first day of October. I must have been very lucky when I travelled.
Never having been to Scotland or Shetland before I imagined only being able to travel in short bursts, then being snowed in for days at a time. In fact in my pre-travel researches I had phoned one caravan site, who though not officially open so early in the year said just pop by and it would be fine, but I insisted on assurances that if I was snowed in they would not let me and poor Phoebe starve!!
When I think I have travelled much further north than John O' Groats and spent days looking out over the lighthouse and seas round Lands End, plus nearly got to the furthest points East and West of the UK I am amazed when I remember I had hardly even thought of the idea this time last year.
I am not certain if I shall bother to make the crossing to Europe this winter, partly because as a family we have booked to do something in London at the half term holidays around the Autumn and Spring Equinoxes - more of that in the fullness of time - and somehow to dash across for a couple or three months seems hardly worth it. I may delay till early spring, but as has become my wont, I will let life lead me where it will.
But back to today.
Again I am spending time in the Midlands at present waiting for the arrival of the replacement offside mirror. This time the offside mirror was knocked off when, travelling on the motorway through the night it was suddenly closed ahead and all traffic diverted. I was intending to follow the divertion signs, but most of the lorries obviously knew a better night-time cut through. So as I queued to turn left at the roundabout , they were all passing me to go right. Then one big artic came by, and missed me with his cab and tail, but just clipped the mirror with the big draw down curtaining. In the dark and the rain, and the exceptionally heavy traffic with the hard shoulder closed there was nothing for it but to drive on, at least till things cleared a little. Fortunately for me within a mile or so was a pull in on our side, and although there was already a few artics in residence there was just about room for us to sqeeze in at the end.
There was no point getting out to look at it in the dark and rain, plus the traffic from the motorway was thundering by within inches. So I just went straight to bed. Waking at daybreak, the lorry in front of me had moved on so we could pull further forward and feel a little safer, plus I could get out to assess the situation. Why is it always a weekend when these things happen when all the suppliers are closed?
It was irretrivably broken, though some of the bits were dangling by their electric wires. A call to the breakdown people got me a promise that a tow truck would be sent, but I suggested we first try a roadside repair. They seemed to think this was a good idea, and said they would send a man with a mirror - and though I knew there was absolutley no chance of them sourcing a mirror as least we might be able to tape the original up somehow. It was much to high for me to reach, plus my 'wonky' right arm won't stretch and turn.
The guy turned up a few hours later but hadn't even got any gaffer tape on board, or seemingly anything much useful. Still I could supply a few bits and bobs, and with the mirror cobbled together I set off back to my trusty brother's to wait till Monday when I could order a new one.
So I am now parked up in an industrial street outside my brother's factory warehouse unit, and although it is a hive of activity in the day, by six thirty everyone has gone home and at the weekends it is more peaceful than most caravan club sites!
Its very high here and, and if it wasnt for the buildings and units surrounding us I am sure the view would have been terrific. If at this time last year you had told me I would be happy spending a week on an industrial estate in the Black Country I would have thought it highly unlikely and most unpleasant, but I have to say I am enjoying my time here. I am researching things that might be interesting to look at when I have to travel to Lincoln to retrieve the errant awning, not that I will need it much if I am to spend the winter in cooler climes. And also researching for a possible trip to Northumberland.
Plus having masses of things delivered from Amazon.
I stayed on longer than I intended as not only did my kind brother fix the replacement mirror on for me, but he spent ages sorting out the various problems which have been caused in the recent weeks. And I took the opportunity of trying some good Black Country food as well.