So I arose in Temple Sowerby in the wee small hours of a Sunday morning. My head was thumping a little from the Stuart Maconie Fan Club outing from the previous night, but a couple of paracetamol soon put that matter to rest. I didn't disturb Andy and Kate as I left and was soon roaring down the M6 towards Essex and a rendezvous with Amanda and James. At first the traffic was minimal, but slowly, inexorably it built up the further south I got and the later the day became. I was tuned permanently to Radio 5 to hear any traffic news. When it did come it wasn't good. The main junction between the M1 and the M25 (which I was intending to use) was completely closed due to a multi-vehicle pile up. Honestly, some people are so insensitive. Didn't they know I was going to use that junction? Didn't they think about my important journey before they began smashing each other's cars into their neighbours? Swines! Therefore I had to make a quick detour across towards Bedford and over to the A14 and the M11. I got within a few miles of Basildon and Amanda's house when we ground to a complete halt on the A127. There was some motorbike rally going on and we all had to stop for them. I am not the world's biggest fan of motorbikes at the best of times, but at this very moment, after having driven for five hours from Penrith I personally would not have wasted my urine on any passing motorcyclist who happened to find himself ablaze at that time.
I eventually picked up Amanda and James, and we drove down to Kent and a stop at Cathy and Julian's house in Stockbury. My parents were there as well, on their way back from a holiday in Germany, so we all ended up together having a very nice family dinner. James had great fun playing around in Cath and Julian's garden as it is a little...ahem... stuffed with all the lovely lumps of rusting machinery that Julian is so fond of purchasing and that Cathy is so keen for him to get rid of. James took great delight in wearing one of Julian's crash helmets and sitting astride a mighty motorbike, much to the amusement of the rest of us - as you can see from the picture above. He even reckoned he was going to ride to Disneyland in Paris by himself. But that is another story.