Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Don’t forget your suncream – Holiday Part I

Well I’m back at work (boo) after the long weekend exploring some of the north of the country and in the interests of not giving you all a HAYUGE post to read through, I’m going to split the fun up into 4, one post for each day of the holiday. If you’re really good I might even get around to sorting out some photos.


Started out earlier than expected when the car arrived at 8:30am. Fortunately I was already awake and guessed it had arrived by the noise of a sports car mooching up and down the road looking for our house (it’s not easy to find without directions). After cooing over the cute little thing that was now sitting on the driveway, getting instructions on how it all worked and managing to drive over the guy’s bag that he foolishly left on the driveway in front of the car (DOH!), the delivery man left and we were alone (mmmmmm).

I drooled for a little while and then went to wake Wookie up, who was understandably a little annoyed, what with it still being morning.

After packing and shoehorning everything into the luggage space (can’t call it a boot when it’s in the front of the car) we set off up the M1.

Ok, a bit about the car:

It’s definitely a sports car. It goes like SOASS* and gets up to 60mph in mere pico seconds. The gearbox has an automatic clutch and it has these ‘flappy paddles’ on the steering wheel for changing gear. There is also a gear stick for times when the paddles are nowhere to be found as you go round a roundabout *eep*. The suspension is far firmer than I’m used to, and Wookie commented that we should have bought a nodding dog for the parcel shelf just to stress test the nodding mechanism *grin*. The gears can also be put into full automatic mode, which I used a lot for the first couple of days while I got used to handling the car. I also discovered that even in manual mode, if the revs get above or below a certain level it will automatically change up or down a gear for you, which was a leetle bit irritating.

So, back to the holiday…

The first day we travelled as far as Whitley Bay. For those of you who live in (or know) the UK, who are now wondering why we went there, I’ll tell you. It’s because, muppet that I am, I got Whitley Bay confused with Whitby. The latter being the place that Dracula supposedly landed when he came here and the former not being the place that Dracula supposedly landed when he came here. Whitley Bay has the dubious distinction of being the ‘party capital’ of the north for stag/hen nights and huge bunches of ‘young things’ from Sunderland and Newcastle looking for a weekend’s drinking.

We stayed in a little B&B just off the seafront, which was a nice place. The room was clean and big enough to swing a cat (not tested) and the beds were comfy. We struggled to find somewhere to eat (due to the masses of party animals) and ended up settling on this rather unprepossessing little Italian restaurant. Good job we did as the food was fantastic and what was even better, it was their 1st anniversary of opening and everyone got a free glass of wine with their meal.

We did take a stroll along the waterfront although we didn’t actually venture on to the beach itself. I also persuaded Wookie to take some pictures of some interesting ‘art’ that had been drawn on the sand and took a picture myself of someone’s sand sculpture (because Wookie refused to take the picture for me). These will be posted just as soon as I can get the camera card off Wookie and upload them.

One thing I did discover that evening. If you are a redhead with sensitive skin unused to driving a convertible, and you spend all day driving along with the top down on a lovely sunny day, prepare to have your forehead glow like a lobster living near Chernobyl for the next week or so.

On Saturday we actually made it to Scotland. I’ll tell you all about that in the next instalment.

* Shit off a shiny shovel