My goodness but that was hard work.
It usually takes about an hour and a half to get from Sheffield to Manchester airport. I left two hours, just in case. Off I trundled. And the heavens opened! Could hardly see where I was going. Fortunately, at the time I was trundling through Nether Green, Ranmoor and Crosspool so it didn’t altogether matter. I could go quite slowly and there wasn’t much traffic about. The rain cleared and I headed out into the Peak District, intending to take the Snake Pass across to Glossop and hence on to Manchester.
The only flaw in this otherwise scintillating plan was that the Snake is closed for three weeks :S By the time I discovered this, I had reached Ladybower and had no alternative but to head down through Bamford and follow the diversion signs. Which mysteriously vanished at one T intersection!
I fetched up in Grindleford and took the A623 across towards the A6 which took me into Stockport. Not such a disaster. I had determined, with the help of the road atlas and the AA route planner, that this would be an ideal way of getting from the airport back to The Sidings.
So. All was going well. And then I got to Stockport. Not been there before. Unless you count passing through on the train and once, my first Christmas here, being taken to the station by Andy Woolles on the 28th December. Following the signs to the M60. Following the signs to the M60. Following the signs …. Oops. The signs have gone. And I seem to have reached a part of the A6 which has been chopped in half! Turned around in a handy supermarket car park and headed back. Found a road to the M60. Not all that clearly marked but it was at least a sign. Ended up on a little roundabout. And came to a complete halt.
ONE HOUR later I had travelled the mile or so I had been from the junction to the M60. Now running seriously late. And a tad frustrated because the major road signs were covered up by trees so I wasn’t entirely sure that I was in the right lane for where I wanted to go. I could have been in the slightly faster moving inner lane - but that wasn't clear without the sings being visible, until I got quite close to the roundabout. But finally on the motorway and heading for the airport.
The traffic heading back all seemed to be at a complete and total standstill. All lanes. All slip roads. Oh dear. Had best plan an alternate route if I aver actually do get to the airport.
Which I did. A mere hour late. And found Lindsey stood outside with the smokers, taking in the Manchester air.
While we were taking a loo stop and seeking out water supplies, we plotted an alternative route home.
Off we trundled. I was about to pull into the motorway heading West, when I noticed that the slip road had cleared. I abruptly changed my mind and headed back the way I had come, noticing JUST too late to change my mind that the slip road might have cleared – but the motorway had not. It took an hour to make our way, slowly, slowly to the Stockport turn off. Should have taken five or ten minutes! After that, though, the run home was great. Although Tabitha and Gareth seemed convinced that we should have taken the alternative route through the north of Sheffield. Which wouldn’t have been entirely convenient, given that I wanted to end up about 20 miles south of Sheffield. And would have kept us on the congested motorway for even longer!
And so, at 21:15, I finally struggled inside The Sidings, six and a quarter hours after I had left work! And just in time for The Builder to go to the station to meet the 21:30 London train, which was bearing Ian back to us.
As we were taking Lindsey’s bags out of the boot, I noticed The Builder materialise by the front gate. Odd. How did he know we had arrived. And look. There’s Marlo sat on the wall, watching us too. It appears that Marlo had not been dead chuffed when The Builder got home at 17:15 without me. He had been in and out and in and out all evening. And just before we got home he went and sat in the driveway. As we got home, Max next door began to bark and bark. The Builder went to investigate and found Marlo sat on the wall watching us pulling up. He must have heard the car!
The Builder lost his phone (again!) on Monday evening. He noticed as we were going to bed. A quick hunt revealed it not. So yesterday morning, while he was in the shower, I went on a hunt of the car and the van. No sign of it. He had it in the car on Monday evening, for he sent me a message just before I got to the car to come home. Where else ha he been? Waitrose? Seems unlikely he would have dropped it there without anyone noticing, but not absolutely impossible. We also went to collect some wood from a house in the village, but I’m pretty sure he didn’t drop it there. I was watching him and the man loading it into the van and would certainly have noticed if the phone had fallen. Perhaps he dropped it while he was loading the wood into the shed. I went to investigate. And as I approached the shed, my phone calling for his, I could hear a sad and pathetic whimpering from the long grass. As I got closer, I could hear it vibrating. And there it was. Quite how it had survived the night’s torrential storms is a mystery. But it’s still functioning.
Mind you, I don’t think it wants to stay with The Builder . It keeps trying to escape. He lost it in the car park at work last week. Someone handed it in to reception and it was given back to him almost before he’d noticed it was missing. Mind you, it’s hardly surprising that it keeps trying to escape. The Builder makes no bones about the fact that he hates it!
It has been a day or two for losing things. Freyja sent me a text message yesterday to say she had left her glasses in The Builder’s van. Or – she thought that’s where she’d left them. They are not in the van. They were not to be seen in the car park. She still doesn’t have them. They appear to have vanished without trace.
Then, when Lindsey was getting into the car at the airport yesterday she suddenly stopped and said: Goodness. Where can my glasses have gone. She had had them tucked into her shirt as we were putting the bags into the boot and the back seat. She did not have them when she herself got in. WE had a hunt around where the car had been parked and in the car. And the glasses have not been seen again.
Do you think there’s a glasses black hole meandering around Yorkshire and Lancashire?