Luce Smith, Features Writer
Annual leave is so difficult to take don't you think? It's all down to me I know, but still, I have failed to take it all this year! With this in mind, I took three days off last week, and decided to visit my Grandad in Devon. I was able to borrow my friend's dog, Jess, who I used to walk everyday, so I had got company for the 300 miles drive down the motorway.
It's a pretty easy drive, M1, M42, M5 and a little B road to end with. I took Jess on a speed walk of 7 miles, and got her on the back seat (with lots of covers so I don't have to get my car valeted again) and set off.
It was all going well, until the signs on the M5 said 'motorway closed'. Ah well, it will be well diverted. Or so I thought. I pulled off the motorway and followed the yellow little 'diversion' signs. I was taken to the M48 and passed a sign saying 'Welcome to Wales!. Wales? The signs had stopped being seen, so I pulled over and got Google maps out. We were in Wales? Where did I go wrong? This was not part of the plan!
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6 hours later we turned up at my Grandad's, and Jess was delighted with his garden. It's huge, so she was happy. Even more happy to find out her bed was just in front of the Aga. Happy days!
My Grandad is still absolutely amazing. 99yrs old, still making his own bread, marmalade, coffee cakes and rock buns. Still putting kidney in his beef casseroles just to 'add flavour', and to make it take me forever to fish them out! I can't bear it! He is still driving too, which is as I've said before, negotiable. Yes they test for eyesight, but do they test for reaction times? If they did, he'd fail, which would be a bad outcome, as it would take away his independence, so let's hope they don't start testing for this! He knows his limits now and takes things easier, but does continue to keep the garden looking perfect, mows the lawn........
He had never met Jess before, and he loved her. She's no bother at all, unless you include the cuddles and attention she requests! She normally keeps away from people she doesn't know, but once she found out he sits in a chair and can stroke dogs all evening, she was made up!
We had a good two days of long walks, and got back in the car for an evening drive home. My aim was to be home just after midnight. Reality was that we got back at 1:30am. Not amused. M5 road closures, so had to take a diversion (this time well signed), M42 closures, so had to drive round the streets of Birmingham, and the M1 had lots of road works too. It was so good to get home! 650 miles is exhausting! I was so relieved to get the train to work on Thursday, it was heaven! It was also on time which was a bonus!
I'm still off chocolate and Lent feels like it's longer than ever! Only about 10 days to go now, and the shop Easter egg displays are getting less tempting. I still wish Jesus had an actual death date, like everyone else. He has a birthday date which is the same every year, but his death depends on the moon? I seriously don't get it, and it messes with my head. What date can I actually break the Lent rule?? Such fun!
Diversion, 3rd April 2017, 9:02 AM