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THE ROAD TRIP (from Leeds to Dundee) / 30 January 2012

digitised photo of a sunset over a service station

Photo of a service station somewhere between Cumbria and Dundee.

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I feel a little strange saying this, but it was difficult to leave. I saw little Maddy at the door as Jon helped me take my huge wheelie bag (which many have said is like an old lady bag. It is a well known fact that as soon as you have a stroke you revert to being a 60 year old. I am a prime example of this. Anyway, it's not an 'old lady bag', it is green and, I think, quite trendy. And she was waving at the door. It surprised me. It's not them per se, but the situation, oo er. Another example of age creeping up. Tick, tick, tick.

The drive was very relaxing. It was longest one I'd done at five hours thirty-ish. The great thing about these drives is I see some amazing sunsets, cloud formations, landscapes and stars, especially as I was driving through Cumbria, at the edge of the lake district, there are some photos that I took, but they were only taken on my phone so they're not grand and don't represent the true splendor of the moment.

I listened to 'Just A Minute' for a good portion of this journey. I love it; the relationships between the panellists and how they try to squirm out of it, so Nicholas gives them 'the benefit of the doubt.' I can talk for England most of the time, very little of it making any sense, but I'm not sure if I could do it without hesitating, repetition or deviation. I think the key is not to think about it, it's the other panelists problem. Oh and (life rule ahoy) don't worry about looking like a nincompoop!

As I reached the end of the straight, about Carlisle, I stopped at a service station and popped in to their outside loo and I saw my first and last bit of anti English graffiti telling us to go back to our own country. Aaahh, how racist? You get 'em everywhere.

After reaching my destination, as the lady on the sat nav says daily, I got out of my car, it was cold, unsuprisingly, its been quite chilly all the way up north but I have been using a method to stave off the cold. Another of my little philosophies(?) ' feel the warmth' and your body will find the warmth in the cold... yes, odd I know, but try it, say 'feel the warmth' to yourself (fyi, I dont recommend saying this aloud, as you may get some funny looks), relax and bingo, you're warmer! (the same works with 'find the light' in darkness!)

I entered the The Queens Hotel, Dundee, it was quite small on the outside but tardis like inside. it's plush décor, gold in colour, made me feel quite regal, I love it!

A man helped me take all my luggage up to my room, as I shut the door behind him, I looked around, 'nice' I thought. Then I opened the door to my bathroom, oh my giddy aunt, I had a bidet, yes, a BIDET...i have never been so excited about a bathroom installation in my life, to the pont that I have taken pictures, a video and told a lot of people, most of whom I do not know, about my bidet, adding, 'I can wash my penis if I want'.

I ordered some food (fishy goujons, chips and a salad) and had a well deserved shower....oo room sevice, a bidet (which I spelt 'bedet' but was corrected by my friend, Mat Martin), I could get used to this.

I was quite tired and uber-excited about tomorrow, I didnt know what to expect but I couldn't wait!

To be continued...