Friday, April 17, 2009

The Road Trip

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Clearly, living in a country where the furthest 2 points apart are only 874 miles, and where we were already starting from somewhere near the centre of the island anyway, the idea of a road trip in the UK was never going to be in the same vein as iconic cultural experience of the American Road Trip, even if it did take 9 days.

And being a father and son who actually get on quite well, this journey was never going to be like some kind of bizarre buddy movie either.

However, on our road trip I learned:

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.

Just because a town is right next to a spectacular piece of coastline, you cannot expect to find any B&Bs.

You can’t reach large stretches of the North Coast of Wales because all the Industrial Estates are built between the road and the water, denying you access.

Carreg Cennen Castle in South Wales is spectacular, but if you have CFS the climb up will damn near kill you.


Carreg Cennen Castle

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.

St Clears really does do the best chips in the world. I thought it might have just been nostalgic childhood memories, but the Fish and Chip Shop, “Neils”, is still in the same family 30 years later, still creating the perfect bag of chips.

Kevin Morgan, the floppy haired, freckled kid I used to sit next to on the bus going to school, now owns and runs West Wales Mowers, and looks a lot older than I remember.

Pendine Sands in South Wales – 6 miles of wonderful open beach is now no longer open to cars, land yachts or anything with moving parts, thereby negating the whole point of it being a destination of interest. Sometimes local councils can be incredibly short sighted.


Pendine - a Welsh seaside town where the key feature is now largely inaccessible

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.

South Wales Police like to let you know by post you’ve been caught going over the speed limit through a roadworks area on the motorway a week after the event.

My sister lives in a house that has more holes than a Swiss cheese; you’re never entirely sure whether the bit of floor you’re standing on, or the bit of ceiling you’re standing under, is about to collapse; and the kitchen tap only works if you pull it to one side with all your weight. However, because her house is halfway up a hill in Brixham, the view is spectacular. But if you have CFS the climb up will damn near kill you.

My brother may well be 4 years older than me, but he will always be 15 years old at heart.


Siblings

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.

Sharkham point in Brixham is where we scattered my mother’s ashes. It is still stunningly beautiful and still blowing a gale.

Ullacombe Farm Shop near Bovey Tracey, on the edge of Dartmoor, actually sells tasty home made/grown foods at reasonable prices, rather than the excessive-rip-off-tourist prices most farm shops charge.

Haytor on Dartmoor in Devon is a spectacular granite tor, but if you have CFS the climb up will damn near kill you.


Haytor on Dartmoor

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.

Pat is even more wonderful in person and well worth the detour into North Somerset to have lunch with.

My father may well be 30 years older than me, but he will always be 22 years old at heart.


Dad

Morrisons in Chesterfield don’t open their petrol station on Easter Sunday, so you have to detour 7 miles to fill up at Sainsbury’s instead.

I miss Maggie terribly when we’re apart.


You can enlarge any of the photos by clicking on them
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14 comments:

Emerson Marks said...

Oooh, I've always fancied a drive around Blighty.

Attila The Mom said...

What a fabulous little love letter you tucked in there! Sounds like you had a great time, even with the multiple brushes with death! ;-)

Sarah said...

so you missed Maggie??

wonderful photos!! your siblings and you all have a very similar nose. i always find sibling's features fascinating.

the American Road Trip might have some cultural iconic blah blahs. but the architecture you have available in the UK leaves any trip in the US wanting.

i've done the American Road Trip.. i decided i don't like driving that much. maybe it's been the company i've kept along the way. i've taken road trips by myself that have been exceedingly fulfilling. (alone time means a lot)

again.. i really enjoy your photos, i hope these make it to your site. :o)

Charlie said...

I'm glad that I read this and the last two posts together to get the "big picture."

This very well may have been the best roadie you have, or will have, taken in your life. So many unforgettable memories that you can now replay, over and over, with Maggie.

Thanks for the tour, Kim. I loved it.

karatemom said...

I really enjoyed this post , the way it was written was brilliant.

El-Branden Brazil said...

Great to see your family in these photographs, Kim!

That's great portrait of your father.

Kanani said...

Stunning landscape, Kim. I really enjoyed your descriptions.

Mary Witzl said...

What everybody else said, there. And I'm gathering you missed Maggie?

LegalMist said...

I love the photo of your dad. Seems there is a lot of fondness and caring in his eyes...

Kim Ayres said...

Emerson Marks - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to comment :)

Attila - it was a good trip and I'm glad we did it :)

Sarah - oddly enough, when I was putting the photo up of the 3 of us I was suddenly struck by the nose similarity :)

Charlie - you'll get even more of a sense of the journey in the next post...

KarateMom - thank you :)

Branden - we're all looking a bit older now though :)

Kanani - thank you :)

Mary - Our souls are so entwined, I'm not a whole person without Maggie

Legalmist - thanks :)

Jeff said...

Awesome pictures and stories of your trip Kim. Sounds like you and Rogan created a memory of a lifetime.

Peace

Kim Ayres said...

My hope is it becomes one of those fond memories for him when he's older, and I'm not only remembered for yawning all the time.

PI said...

What a nice bunch you are.
I remembered how you were missing Maggie when I met you and REALLy understood when I was in Iddlesleigh.
It gets worse with time.

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - it's like trees that grow together and entwine so you no longer know where one ends and the other begins.