Some mayo and a side of Red Bull | Travelling Storyteller Photographer
Nothing says England like a quick stop to a Marks & Spencers
Seeing your little carry cart fill with sandwiches all heaped with a healthy dose of mayonnaise, topped off with the obvious bacon and come with a side of crisps really bring the England to you all in one mouthful. Ahh…the pure grease and chippyness of it all.
The thing that Marks & Spencers does not have…and I checked, believe your sausage roll, shrimp puff and liquor aisle I did…but Red Bull. Nope. Not at M&S. The energy infused drink capable of giving wings was elusive. Come to think of it, my grandmother never had it at her home and you betcha she would have tried it had it been in the aisle and that would have been something to witness, but nope…the little grey bullet of ‘yes you can drive 4 hours after a transatlantic flight of 8 hours over night after not having slept for 4 weeks due to packing…likely more’. Not there. Nope. Nada.
I was frantic.
Then I saw it, out the door, around the corner and to the small corner store.. The cooler by the check out that always screams – ‘no you can’t have this and why do they sell this at the till’, there it was. That proverbial magic elixir that was going to help get two cranky 40+ year olds to their destination while their children slept in the back seat. Magic. Just as I found them the clouds parted, the sun started to shine and I heard singing. Truly. It was magical.
I should note that the service station also was equipped with the most amazing sky lights and as a form of entertainment the local children’s choir was performing. Coincidence.. I like to think of it as divine intervention. But hey, I tend to be labelled the optimist.
Armed with the proverbial human gasoline and likely the same ingredients – eeewwww…don’t even..!...we were ready to get to home #1.
The thing is though….I am pretty sure that out of the 14 lives that I believe to have – 9 being too short, 10 being a bit too presumptuous and 14 being a number that has a certain je ne sais quoi – I am quite sure that I have now lost a dreadful 13 of them while taking part in what manages to get us from point A to point B in our monster car – because DID YOU SEE HOW MUCH LUGGAGE WE HAVE!?!. One look at the pile of our belongings and the gentleman at Eurocar did one quick “nope not gonna happen” and promptly “upgraded” us to what would be more suitable. And to be clear, by ‘not gonna fit’ I mean there was no well in *^%(* we were getting into the compact car that my husband dutifully ordered from Canada, and by “upgrade” I mean “thank you for your credit card” if you get my meaning.
I am going to say it – driving on the left hand side of the road is something of an exhilarating jolt of adrenaline. Nothing gets the heart beating faster than roads smaller than a European apartment parking space to indicate that it is in fact a two lane bidirectional highway. Not only that, but you are then expected to drive at speeds that have my closing my eyes and simply praying. Because THAT is obviously going to help things. The experience is fraught with deception. As soon as you get used to that narrow lane – knowing just how close you can come to any particular structure on the one side that avoids you ripping off the car door mirror, the lane widens and I think I actually managed to exhale…until. Until you realize that the road being wider provides the obvious option of additional parking! Deceptively neat – all cars park only on one side of the road, in both directions and we are back to the single lane track road that somehow through imperceptible driver to driver communication on driving politeness allows for traffic to flow - while still giving me a coronary.
Never the less, English country driving, despite it coming across as delightful as tea time and biscuits is something that rejuvenates the driving spirit! We are back home in the UK and it feels absolutely incredibly fantastic!