Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Away we go

Tuesday 28th May, the start of the latest adventure.

I woke with just about enough time to see my little girl off to work. Next time I see her will be in the warmth of Calis Beach or maybe Rhodes. I made the final arrangements and said my farewells to Tom III and MLW and set off to Wigan Wallgate for the train to Frome. I couldn't believe the weight of the bike with the bags on. I was knackered after the 1.87km ride and for a second I doubted that I could ride 60 miles a day fully laden. I reminded myself that I had done just that a year ago and made myself feel a bit better.

I had my train ticket but had to book the bike on each of the three legs of the journey separately with three different companies. The Manchester to Bristol leg was ok but the other two didn't have a booking policy. It depended on whether there was room on the train which caused me some concern in the lead up. All was fine and it was an uneventful journey in the end. I  got soaked in the five minutes from Frome station to Mel and Sandy's house but soon dried out with warmth of their roaring fire and the warmth of their welcome. We sat and chatted for ages and then I caught up with the blog while Sandy prepared the food. I got my stuff organised a bit better and we then went to the Cornerhouse for a couple of pints. The Butcombe was ok but was a bit ruby which is not really my type of beer. We had a laugh wondering what Americans would make of "butt comb". I then enjoyed a couple of pints of a paler beer brewed on the premises before we wandered back for food, wine and the ubiquitous photographs and memories.

Sandy is the perfect hostess and in her spare time "sorts out" all the adult education in the area. She is very modest. Mel revealed that there would be very few courses available if it weren't for Sandy's hard work and expertise.

Mel is also semi-retired. Can you imagine sitting in the pub on a Friday night with a group of like-minded grumpy old men complaining about the Town Council? Mel says "Let's do something about it", and they did. They formed their own political party -IFF - Independence for Frome - and shifted the Conservatives at the next election. He is now the Leader of the Council and quite glibly told me of the main focus int he coming year. "We're going to remodel the town centre". He said it like it was made of lego.

These revelations didn't really surprise me because these two were always very motivational characters and it looks like they will never stop. The best thing about it though is that their "hobby" improves other people's lives.

Nine hours sleep sorts most mini-hangovers and I'm here now in the morning, suitably fed and ready to start the proper bike ride. Portsmouth is 80 miles away which I have deemed to be too far so Mel is taking me to the other side of Salisbury  which is only 40 miles from the ferry port for the overnight boat to Europe. 

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