Where to start? At the beginning I suppose so here goes. Bean Counter and me had decided some time ago that this year we were going to visit some of the islands around the UK for a series of long weekends instead of one two week annual holiday at a fly and fry resort somewhere warm on another continent. So last week I duly booked two nights accommodation on Holy Island off the Northumbrian coast. Holy Island is better known as Lindisfarne and it is a place I have wanted to visit for many years. So Friday just gone, Me and BC loaded up the car with walking boots, rucksacks, hiking poles and hip flasks and all the usual paraphernalia for a walking holiday including distress flares, Kendal mint cake, compass and my trusted Swiss army knife. With a borrowed satnav, AA instructions, a full tank of petrol and plenty of time to spare we hit the road.
It was inevitable that not all would go as smoothly as the military like precision with which I had planned the event. The first problems began on the motorway. Lanes and lanes of standing traffic all going nowhere and for no reason any one could see. After almost two hours of crawling along the motorway and having travelled the majestic distance of 30 odd miles or so, things cleared up and I pressed my foot to the metal to make up for time. For those of you who do not know, Lindisfarne is an island connected by a causeway that is covered at high tides. You can only cross the causeway when the tide is out. If the tide is in than you are stuck either on the mainland or the island itself with no way of getting off except by boat.
The old adage that time and tide wait for no man is certainly true and with 4 hours to go before the cut off point we were only 130 miles away and motoring smoothly. Things really got sticky at this point as the horizon went black and the windscreen cracked. My bonnet had flown open and was blocking my entire vision. I hit the hazard button, slowed down trying to remember the Lords prayer and hoping nothing behind me would plough into the back of the car. Mercifully nothing did but it was difficult trying to get from the middle lane and onto the hard shoulder with some mindless pricks giving me the finger and some frosty stares. Only when they had passed me and saw my predicament did they appreciate the trouble I was in.
Feeling shocked, cold and very annoyed me and BC sat on the grass verge and awaited the cavalry in the shape of the AA to get us back home. The car was completely un-driveable with a windscreen that was likely to implode at the first bump and a mangled bonnet that would not stay down. The police arrived and I duly explained what had happened and they rang their control room to ensure the emergency services were on their way. One and half hours later a rescue vehicle turned up and loaded my car onto the back and we headed back in the opposite direction home. Thankfully neither BC nor me were injured and things could have been so much worse but may car may be registered as a write off due to the age and mileage and as I could not cancel the booking for the room with in less than 24 hours for either night I was liable for the cost of the room. It would have been cheaper and safer to have stayed at home, gone into the shower and stood there ripping up 20 pound notes.
Genghis (new gallery click on link) was really pleased to see us and BC and I consoled ourselves with a large stiff drink and a takeaway that really should have been taken away, to somewhere else. Today is another day and although its still damp and miserable, I can console myself that the only injury I have suffered is to my wallet and pride. It’s really only a small price to pay.