Across Continents

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Running out of time

February 9th, 2012

I’d slept well. Suspecting the painkillers had helped. The fan heater had tripped out during the night but, snug in my down sleeping bag, I’d not noticed until the morning. Woken to the local radio weather forecast. Snow expected overnight, couple of inches and likely to stick, even on lower ground. But sounded like Friday – the next day – might be marginally warmer, rain or sleet. If I’d stick to main routes should be able to reach Taunton by nightfall.

But first I had to reach Thornbury, a little north west of Bristol. Expecting to meet up with old friend Pete, riding north to rendezvous with me. I’d not seen him since there’d been a bit of a send-off in an inn on Dartmoor, my last night in the UK before I’d taken a ferry to France. I’d an idea we’d meet up once more in a pub. Late lunch. Warming coffee. Less than forty miles to cover but there was Gloucester to negotiate. And with just a hundred miles or so left back to my village I was beginning to feel pretty cautious. So close…

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Up in the Malvern Hills

February 9th, 2012

Mary had said she’d be in the road. She was. I’d phoned her moments earlier to check exactly where the bunkhouse she ran with husband Bill was. Mentioned the Manor House. Very close she’d said. Very. A short distance up the hill. I was the only guest that night. Cosy room to myself. Mary fetched some tea whilst unloaded my trusty steed, especially welcome after another bitter afternoon on the road.

I slept for a while. Struggling with the pain on my right side. No swelling, guarding or visible bruising but considerable discomfort nevertheless. Deciding that if the situation didn’t improve over the next few days it’d probably be wise to get it checked out. Although if it was something like a cracked rib, and I wasn’t exactly convinced of this, I doubted there was anything that could be done.

Found myself reflecting on the conversation I’d had with Phil and Jo earlier. They’d branched out to do something quite different. Renovating and building houses replacing engineering and nursing. And their point was you could. Anticipation of change invariably far worse than the reality. Sensed it had really worked for them. Inspiring.

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