I'm just a WYSIWYG kind of guy … who wears his heart on his sleeve.

Lovely day to start the road trip down to DEVON for cream teas and a posh hotel. Being as my home county is YORKSHIRE, I can’t see there is much to shout about down there, I mean what can possibly be better than God’s own County, Yorkshire? It’s been a funny start to the trip. We’ve gone North to BARNSLEY, Changed coaches, and motored NORTH to Leeds where we changed coaches again and finally set off South towards Devon. It’s supposed to be a “LUXURY” coach but in all honesty, my bum was numb after about 30 minutes and I’m getting sore knees and a bruised chin due to a distinct lack of legroom. ( Although a Russian tank crew would find it very comfy ( mainly ‘cos it wouldn’t blow it’s top off !!) The coach is not to my taste at all, in fact on the comfort scale out of 10 I’d give it a hollow 4.

For a coaching holiday, it’s eerily quiet. I know we’ve only been traveling for about 30 mins (Southbound), but none of the oldies have started singing, “Stop the bus we want a wee-wee or even the old chestnut,”Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Riding through the glen”….I don’t know where the word Glen came from, as that is a purely Scottish term and Yorkshire (never mind what Nottingham folk say!!) is the true home of Robin Hood and we have dales, not Glens…..Mind you, there are only 20 passengers on this coach, and around 60% are proper “Oldies”. Sadly I now fit into the 60% nowadays. We’ll be stopping for a comfort break in about an hour, you know the drill, bags to empty, seaweed to squeeze and I most definitely need to see a man about a dog so I’ll give my arthritic fingers a rest as I’m writing this out longhand with quill and paper. (No room to get my laptop out) and transposing to the laptop when I get into the hotel. Like Arnie says, ” I’ll be back.”

35 mins latera BLT (Marks and Spencer’s no less) and a medium Latte to improve my well being. Although the middle-aged Harriden in the well-known coffee shop (who looked as though she would peck me to death if I dared say anything !! She wasn’t too pleased when I asked for a latte and to go easy on the milk….(Think about it) She didn’t go easy on the milk but the look could have curdled it !! Anyway, I enjoyed it.

It certainly feels very strange being without my dear departed wife, Christine. As I said in the previous post, it’s the first time I’ve gone away on my lonesome. I’m feeling quite lost really.

We should be arriving at the hotel in about four hours. It looks quite posh in the brochure … but then a MacDonalds’ burger looks very appetizing in their adverts until you open the package and see a small, limp thing. (Now now!! stop it with those kinds of thoughts!!). It may well be that the hotel is full of oldies and we’ll have a sing-song in the bar tonight. I can’t wait to say hello and cheers to Mr. Jameson. I think I’ll start with a large one with two cubes of ice ( I know it’s sacrilege, but I do like it chilled. Just turned onto the M42 (South) ..of course, it’s South, it’s below Yorkshire !! What’s this I see? two old dears are chatting away knitting baby clothes down near the front. I wondered what the clicking noise was. I thought I’d got Tinnitus !! I suppose it takes their minds off the erratic driving of the captain of this modern-day Charabanc

a charabanc of 1950’s vintage

Knit one pearl one..have we crashed yet Dorris? …. no less than seven have nodded off now with one lady gently snoring. Either that or they are just keeping their eyes shut. (Bloomin’ ‘eck !! that was close, nearly had a motorcyclist then !!) Being as I’m firmly in the ‘Oldies’ category now, I feel like either a pint of cold beer or a nap. Both would be good but I’ll have to settle for a cat nap. I’ll be back ……

Now on the last leg to the delights of Devonian culture after stopping for a comfort break, set off again and it sounds like I have a Buddhist monk sitting behind me… “Omm Nonn Ding Dong..Omm Nom Ding Dong” etc… Maybe the captain’s driving has prompted a bout of “Religion”… or maybe a fear of being a passenger. Anyway, it sounds like an angry hornet in my ear … Each to their own.

About two hours to go. Only been on this leg for about 5 miles and already I have terminal numb bum syndrome!! Just turned around for a crafty peek at the Chanter…. Oh dear, it’s not him, it’s the sound of the coach tyres on the Motorway … The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round… no it’s not me making a synonym, 4 ladies of a certain age have started singing at last. It took them some time to warm up. I reckon they had a few Pink Gins at the last pit stop! Speaking of Pink Gins, I could murder a pint, or 1/2 a litre for the converted. I’m flagging a bit now and the ladies have stopped singing, probably ‘cos no one is joining in, so… I’ll put my quill and paper away until I get to that Posh hotel….

Well, here we are, at the PARK HOTEL in Barnstable and from the outside, it meets all my expectations….Thinking of the MacDonalds analogy, I’ll reserve judgment till I get inside …... WoW!! It’s VERY posh indeed … and the BAR!!! That COLD pint of beer is calling me, can you hear it? Oh, I can it’s positively shouting, “Over her Pat, I’ve been waiting 7 hours for you.”…………. I’ll be back, tomorrow folks…..

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