On Sloth, or life begins at 47.

I’m going to digress from Inshriach business here then try to drag a point back out of it at the end. ‘While you are down south, you wouldn’t mind checking out a campervan’ is how the Bedf-odyssey started. Friday morning Charlie and I stood on the south coast before an old english white Bedford with orange go faster stripes, 1972 in the year and exceptional in the detail. Money changed hands and the three of us trundled off to a lovely, sunny, pub lunch fuelled weekend in the New Forest.

But there was the second leg to consider and it would take more than go faster stripes. Portsmouth to Aviemore, solo, via Brighton and London, with a whole 47 mph under my right foot. Every SLOW sign in the road was a personal acknowledgement.

It was time to recalibrate. We left London on B roads, avoiding any routes I had used before. We parped through the villages of Hertfordshire and across the flat lands of Lincolnshire (where I think we were overtaken by a lawnmower), then crossed the Humber bridge into Yorkshire, meandered up the coast and under the Tyne into Northumberland, cross country via Coldstream to Edinburgh, across the Forth then through the forests of Perthshire and into the still snowcapped highlands. What an amazing journey. If we hadn’t been doing 47 on obscure roads we would never have seen the prosperous Georgian sandstones of Stamford, the silhouette of Whitby Abbey, sunset over the amusement arcades and grand Victorian hotels of Scarborough or the craggy, hunkered houses of the Northumberland moors. We would never have been through Shingay cum Wendy or Sandy’s Letch or Luncarty. I would not have seen Henry, Dee and little Louis in Brighton, had a lovely weekend with Charlie or bumped into Gwennie in Yorkshire.

I never thought I would be an advocate for sloth but it has been a magic few days. If anyone needs a tuk tuk or preferably a vintage Rolls Royce brought north I can help. The Bedford has come to live next door to Inshriach. We might tune it up a bit. It belongs to Ross and Polly from Ord Ban and if you ask them nicely they will arrange the tastiest and most leisurely picnic ever.

I’m sure there’s a moral in there somewhere.

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