Tuesday April 4, 2006
22 days to M-day
It was rather bracing in Skegness today.
Not so bad in the sheltered spot housing the town dump [domestic recycling centre] that was our main reason for visiting, but when we got to the Tesco’s car park the wind fair whistled round us, tugging and probing, doing its best to get inside clothing and chill the man inside.
“I think we’ll give Harry Ramsden’s a miss today,” I said. “I know it’s probably our last chance for a good old-fashioned fish’n’chips lunch on the sea front but it’ll be freezing out there.”
“Suits me. Perhaps you’ll be able to pop over some day next week or the week after and treat yourself.”
“We’ll see. Home?”
“Yup. Still got stuff to do.”
There are two trips I’d like to make during the fortnight when Graham’s away. To Skeggie, for fish’n’chips, and to Digby, for a slow drive past the RAF station where I spent the bulk of my military service in 1960-63. RAF Digby was the place where I stopped being a kid and started being an independent adult, and much of my joined-up thinking started while I was there. I still dream about it. I’ve no desire to visit, to totter with my stick along the paths over which I ran to feel the wild wind of youth. I might find that far too sad an experience. I’d like to get a glimpse, though, and this is likely to be my last and final chance.
Hmmm. Anyway, I shall leave the exploration of those memories for a more relaxed time when we’re resettled.
We called into Spilsby on our way home, so Graham could visit the home branch of his bank and arrange for his change of address. I sat in the car park, quiet and thoughtful. We both of us like Spilsby greatly and, with the benefit of hindsight, rather wish we’d gone for a house on the outskirts of the town.
He was rather thoughtful, too, on the final leg of the drive home.
“Penny for them?” I asked, seeking to break the silence.
“I was trying to think of a way to avoid you having to drive the van all the way back on your own.”
“Oh, I’ll be fine. Don’t you worry about it. And there’ll be only one more trip left when it’s done, a one-way one, too.”
“You don’t like long distance driving any more, even when I am with you.”
“True. I can still do it, when need arises, but all the fun went out of it a long way back.”
“Even so, I wish there was an alternative.”
“We could hire a man with a van, but it’d cost a great deal more than a simple van rental.”
“Perhaps we should have done that.”
“Nah. We’ve made our plan and we shall have to live with it.”
“There’s more than one kind of truth in that.”
“Sure is. Sort of a BOGOF [buy one, get one free] deal.”
We both of us laughed greatly at the thought, ending with a strict injunction from Graham for me to watch the road.