Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

Roadtrip Report

April 16, 2009 by Richard Wright in Journal, Life

Warkworth House Hotel

Further to my previous post, a road trip has now happened. From Glasgow, it featured Kendal, Lake Windemere, Halton, Camberley, Windsor, Hambledon, Amble, and Warkworth, over nine days. We came, saw, and we were thoroughly entertained by family and friends, splendid hosts all. In summary…

Kendal

Home of Kendal Mint Cake, the first marketed energy food of the modern era. A market town, and a nice day to see the little that’s there. We stopped off mostly to break the journey to just outside London for our daughter. It was her first night in a hotel, and raised the intriguing dilemma of what you can do to entertain yourself while staying in a hotel room with a five year old whose bedtime is nine o’clock. You can’t leave them alone, and you can’t have any television on if you want them to sleep. Even keeping the lights on is a dilemma. Rather uncharitably, I discovered that the best thing to do is abandon your fiance and daughter, and go the the bar on your own for a couple of pints. The next day I failed to find any mint cake, though I didn’t look very hard.

Lake Windemere

A big lake. We detoured, realised we didn’t have enough time to do anything there, and stopped for about thirty seconds. The town of Windemere is pretty though. If somebody had told us, we would have stayed there instead of Kendal. Yes, I’m looking you at the back.

Halton

Not much to say about Halton itself, which is a residential rural village about thirty miles from London. However, my brother lives there, and as he’s been out of the country for a few years it’s been a while since I’ve spent much time with his family. In fact, I had yet to meet his youngest boy Reece. It was a blast, and they’re a lovely, welcoming bunch. My favourite moment was probably watching my daughter, my two nephews, and my niece, lined up in a row, playing Game Boys and DS Lites (while Reece watched Scooby Doo). I suspect this is youthful interaction, these days. My daughter, who had never met these strange new cousins, aunt, and uncle, had an absolute blast, which was brilliant to see. Can’t wait to see them all again for the wedding in September.

Camberley

There’s nothing in or around Camberley except famous people, or so it felt. Some are good famous people like Michael Caine, whose house we drove by. He was probably in. Certainly, his fancy car, registration “Alf 1”, was in the drive. Some are less good, like Prince Edward, whose sprawling estate is a couple of doors down from where we stayed, or Doris from Five Star, who was in a posh flat just above us. We went to the local supermarket Waitrose, hoping to bump into some of them picking up milk or condoms, but were disappointed at the turnout. Much wine was subsequently drunk, quite quickly, courtesy of fine hosts Graham and Gerry.

Windsor

The Queen was in, and as we felt it would be rude to disturb her, we stayed out of the castle and had Thai food instead.

Hambledon

A lovely, picture postcard village on the English Riviera, housing mostly very wealthy people, and completely impervious to mobile phone signals. You could film the Vicar of Dibley there, if you chose to. We caught up with my fiance’s brother and family, including niece Maisie, went for long walks, and moseyed down to Marwell Zoo for a day. They’re also splendid hosts, and much wine was also drunk, though far more slowly and politely.

Amble & Warkworth

Warkworth is another picture perfect village in Northumberland, and a mile or so up the road from the fishing port Amble, where I did much of my growing up. We stopped off to break the journey back to Glasgow, and I was able to enjoy brief nostalgia walking by the places I knew. As Warkworth is prettier than Amble, we stayed there for the benefit of the ladies, and wandered into Amble for fish and chips, which we munched in the car by the sea. We wandered down to the harbour on the last day, where my fiance and daughter experienced the bitter cold of a mild Amble day, which drove them back to the car in haste. At least they now know why the Scottish cold rarely bothers me. It really doesn’t try hard enough.

And that was that. With the trip ended, I’m now back in Glasgow trying to get on top of things here, including various bureaucratic and medical bits of the forthcoming relocation to India, as well as touching up the house for sale or lease. It was nice to get around a bit of the UK in advance of that, as there won’t be much more opportunity before October, the way things are working out. The next few months are going to full of foreign prep and wedding stuff, so it’s good to have chilled out.

Right, there’s a fence needs painted, and I’m the man. A man, anyway.

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One Comment

  1. JackieApril 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Sounds wonderful! (But not long enough!) So, some of K’s family lives in England, too?

    Interesting about her first hotel room. 🙂 Our kid stays up on weekends (and vacations) until his eyes can’t stay open (around 10pm usually), and at that point, the TV doesn’t seem to bother him. In fact, NOTHING wakes him up… And he’ll sleep in until a “decent” hour the next morning. Ahhhhhh.

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