Moving on to Nottingham

July 27, 2016 - Nottingham, United Kingdom

Breakfast at the Black Swan was the usual balancing act with so much crockery on a small table. We arrived before the rambling pensioners and so we were saved the dithering and dribbling at the fruit and cereal.

After a sustaining breakfast we packed the car and checked out. At the desk Selina told Margaret that there is a feeder on the tree across the bridge where red squirrels can often be seen so we walked down the lane and scrutinised the tree. Unfortunately there were none to be seen this morning even after peering hopefully at every trunk, stem, branch and leaf.

Our drive today would take us to Nottingham to see Will and Bex and to link up with David, Sarah and Lucie once more. They were staying with Will and Bex. We programmed Miss Direct with the postcode of the hotel but I couldn't get her to accept the actual street address so that would be up to our observational skills.

Somewhat reluctantly we drove away from the Black Swan, down the lanes and out onto the A685 headed for Scotch Corner and the A1(M1). As we approached the junction Margaret suggested we could divert to Richmond for old times sake. We had enjoyed our time there in 2013 and thought a cup of tea at The Station centre would be a pleasant break before a long motorway drive.

At Richmond there were signs out about bridge damage on Station Road and possible traffic delays but apart from a set of traffic control lights for a single lane section on the bridge there was no problem. Well no problem apart from Miss Direct telling us to turn around and return to HER course. The Station has cinemas and specialist craft shops such as bakery, brewery and ice creamery as well as displays of art. We took our time over a cuppa and a bakewell slice and then took a quick look around the artwork. One particular painting by Moira Metcalfe we thought really captured the mood and the light of the Yorkshire Dales. The pricetag of £850 also marked her work well above the other artists.

We walked to the bridge to see what was happening there. We thought it must be a maintenance project but in fact looked like a truck carrying round hay bales had crashed into the parapet knocking the parapet wall down and tipping a dozen bales over the edge where they remained on the bank and in the river.

We continued our drive, and much to the relief of Miss Direct, we again headed for Scotch Corner where we joined the motorway traffic heading for The South. There were a lot of roadworks in progress in that northern section where it looks like they are duplicating a large section of motorway and improving the junction. There are so many trucks on the motorway that the two left lanes are mainly trucks and the right lane is very fast cars. Even with the number of trucks we travelled quite quickly with the Mercedes able to cruise along in 7th gear for much of the way. We arrived in Nottingham area about 2:30pm.

Although I missed an exit from the ring road Miss Direct managed to get us back to Wilford Lane without much drama and as we drove on we searched in vain for street numbers. Luckily Margaret spotted the hotel (still no numbers) and we parked in their parking area and checked in. We unpacked and loaded a bag of laundry to leave at the desk. Margaret took some ironing to the ironing room while I took the laundry dowstairs. They don't have a laundry service but arrange for laundry to be collected so I left it with a slightly unenthusiastic receptionist. With any luck we will get it back again tomorrow but who knows.

Another problem arose when we met back at our room. Margaret went to ring Bex to tell her we had arrived but her phone gave a message saying the account had been deactivated due to inactivity in the last six months. We tried my phone with the same result. What the hell? We have both used our phones since arriving in the UK and I have received calls diverted from my Australian mobile so we left strident emails with Woolworths Global Roaming support and Margaret went downstairs to ring Bex from the phone at reception.

Will and Bex live a very short distance from The Beeches where we were staying and we walked over to their place on the River Trent. Will was still at work but Bex made us welcome and David, Sarah and Lucie were there. Will and Bex have chosen a very peaceful spot to buy with a view over the river to playing fields and parklands on the other side. Will arrived home about an hour or so later and we all had dinner before we took our leave to give Will a chance for a bit of sleep. He has another early start tomorrow before he gives himself some time off to get married.


A last look at the Black Swan
The Black Swan
No squirrels here!
A nostalgic diversion to Richmond
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