And so it begins...
Driving across Salisbury Plain with a very strange mix of feelings - almost light-headed with anticipation (although a 5am start may have had something to do with it), plus a sense of being unburdened for the first time in ages. I have deleted my work email accounts from my phone so no incoming mail for nearly the next six weeks. Added into this, though, is a slight worry - after all I have master-minded this trip, the planning and the packing. Let's hope nothing gets forgotten!
For the record I noted the starting milage and I already owe the swearbox 20p.
Calamities to date? F is unable to locate her driving licence and I just broke my watch strap trying to shift a heavy bag in the back of the car. The Landy looks great loaded up with bikes and out Thule soft top box plus the Mountain Equipment waterproof bag I use for my clothes. I expect some serious Landy appreciation en route.
Back to the Farm tonight and then an early start tomorrow to get the 12:30 tunnel.
This is T and I's third bike trip in three summers, but the first to include F and E as well. This is really good and a chance of spending a month on the road is so rare that it needs to be grapsed with both hands. We also need space together to recover from three or four really tough years. There was a lovely postcard in the mail this morning from someone expressing real sorrow that we had gone through some of these things - fortunately they had been oblivious and it reminded us of the number of people who had been part of the Jubilee celebrations in the villages, which they felt had reflected positively on our relationships with the wider parishes.
All that does seem firmly in the past now, though, and we look forward to some serious time of re-creation.
We had to drop a note off at somebody's house about the dog, so F and I took the opportunity to slip into the Cross Keys for a quiet drink. Lovely.
Our comedy top box loading routine, the reverse of which would be so admired by a pair of Dutch PE teachers three weeks later.
Miles today - 48.