The Road Trip to…

Now-before I begin this tale- I want to make it perfectly clear-I can read a map- a normal map. A normal map is for a place that is normal- a place that has straight roads, and all the roads on the map have proper names and all the highways have exit/junction numbers for all exits. I also want to state for the record that I drove over 300,000 miles in the USA and never owned a road map. And never got lost. Honestly!

So, the kids and I were going to an event they really wanted to-it was all about birds and they were going to make a bird house each and some bird feeders. Two very excited kids get in the car early today. With a mom who knew exactly where she was going.

Yes-I knew exactly where I was going. The really wonderful woman who organized the event even put the full name of the club on the emails, so how could I go wrong? I get the clubs website up, and check their directions, do a double check on multi-map, and off we go. We get there-exactly where I knew how to get to.

The place was absolutely deserted! I wonder about this, and I know people should have been there as I was one minute late. No one comes. My two keep asking if I’m sure I found the place. I keep telling them I found the place I ‘thought’ I should have. We drive down the road a bit and I pull over and ask someone if this is the name of the club. She says of course it is and laughs at me thinking I thought a match was on, on a Wednesday morning. So I explain why we were there, and she suggests I try the village hall.

We drive on a bit (never finding the hall) and I pull over to call the organizer. I was at the wrong place! The club uses two pitches-and I looked up the main one. And yes, the name of the correct village was on her email! Argh!

So she tells me I’m only about 10 minutes away at max. This is where my inability to get around England becomes very obvious. I need a visual aid at all times around here. She tells me to take the ‘Ring road’, and I know I’m doomed!

The ‘Ring road’ has got to be one of the words I hate most here. Where on earth is the ‘Ring road’? Almost every town has a ‘Ring road’. Which direction should I be going? The other most dreaded words- are ‘go straight through the roundabout’-the roundabout with four exits. Honestly-it’s a nightmare! The ‘Ring road’ in this case was part of the highway we had been on. This road has an official name, and I had no idea it was part of the ‘Ring road’ system for this town. Now-it’s not really considered a highway here-it’s considered an ‘A road’. This means that none, and when I say none, I mean NONE of the exits are labelled with an exit number. Can you believe that? This is a two-lanes going in both directions main throughway (Like a Rt. 46) from the south to the north in the southern part of the country-not the county but the country.

Anyway- I figure out (finally) what the Ring road was-and off we go-but I took the wrong exit at one of the dreaded roundabouts. To get stuck in a road works traffic jam. While sitting in the jam I realize we are going the wrong way-and we’d have to sit in the traffic going the other way! Ok-we manage that and get back to the Ring road-and take the other exit at the last roundabout. We find the main ‘site marker’ to look for-but I couldn’t see the ‘yellow building’ to turn at. (Turns out I was coming from the opposite direction!) Argh-by now it is past 11:30 am, and we’d only have an hour to do it all in before leaving for recorder. The kids and I decide to go out to lunch instead!

They were very good about it-and helped read all the signs. We spent most of the time laughing about me getting us into another fix! Though they did question how long it was going to take me to get to the farm centre for lunch. Hard to explain to them that from where we were I’d have no problem doing that. We were only a few minutes from the main ‘A’ road that would take us back to where we wanted to go.

So-we manage to get to Millets for lunch. For yet another ‘mix-up’ to occur. Nothing serious-but it fit in perfectly with the morning. I go to the food counter while the kids get us a table near the fireplace. I love wood-burning fires! I order a baked potato for me and chips and sausage rolls for the kids, especially as they’d been such good sports. The chips weren’t ready so the lady at the hot food counter said she’d bring them with the kids sausage rolls over in a bit. No big deal.

I go to pay for the food, and I have to wait for the cashier for a few minutes. Not that I normally mind-but I got cheese with the baked potato, but the girl put the cheese on the side-and I like it inside so it melts. It’s the little things! Finally-the cashier comes. I just finish paying, when we hear a smash of a plate.

There was a mentally handicapped man there with his carer, and the man had just dropped his lunch. The cashier immediately tells the other man behind the counter to quickly replace the mans lunch- a sausage roll. So I had to point out-not that I was going to stop them giving it to the man-but that was one of the ones I just paid for, and there weren’t any more. I tell her to just check when another would be ready, the kids can share one while they wait for another.

The cashier comes over and says it’s going to take a half-hour. Then she looks at me asking if there was possibly anything else they would eat. I tell her they’d normally eat anything ‘proper’, but this was actually a treat to have the sausage roll, especially after the morning we had. She said they had a Cornish pasty and would that do-Hazel said yes before I could. So it all ended well-but it was a fitting end to our morning.

We did make it to recorder and then back home without any further problems!

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