Somerset: Saturday September 17, 2005
I tried to sleep before Dolly and I set off for Somerset, honest I did. Had dinner early, popped my statin, went to bed, slept for a while but woke after an hour. I lay quietly for a further hour to give the pill a chance, then got up when Graham called at the end of his day.
One last practice session on the piano, a final check for email, and then I packed the last of my stuff ready to load in the car.
Went back to bed for an hour, gave up, and got up finally about 3:00.
It wasn’t excitement that prevented me sleeping, nor anticipation, particularly. I can’t honestly say what it was, though like as not both excitement and anticipation played their part. Whatever, I had no sleep in me.
I’d planned on leaving between four and five in the morning, and could easily have made it four. In the event, having packed the car except for Dolly’s new transporter, we were ready to set out at 4:30.
“Time to go, Dolly.”
She hopped into her nice new box with its thick layer of clean paper, turned round, and looked at me sternly, as if to say: “Right, if we’re going to do it, let’s get started.”
The journey was smooth, but over-long, some six and a half hours in all, including breaks and a long delay.
The only noteworthy events on the way were an emergency stop just before Grantham, to empty Dolly’s travel box and replenish the paper after she’d expressed the depth of her annoyance with a very smelly poo. Then, just the other side of Melton Mowbray, I stopped at an all-night petrol station to buy a sandwich and top up my phone card. I later found that the young woman had ripped me off to the tune of £5 for the latter, crediting the card with £5 but charging me £10. It takes a particular kind of person to rip off a pensioner, and not my kind, at all.
I stopped three times along the way for very strong coffee and then, finally, encountered a major hold-up on the motorway between Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare.
It was 12:30 when I pulled up outside the caravan, phoned Graham, and announced: “The Eagle has landed.”
The reunion was all it was expected to be.