The Road Trip Calculation

Yesterday saw one of the longest days I have had in an eternity. I know that, as a man, I maybe have a knack of exaggerating things, but I think that on this occasion even the long-suffering Mrs Bob would agree with me.

It began with an early start at 6.30am, which is early when you consider that I had been working until late the night before and we didn’t get to sleep until nearly 1am. So, this two-day road trip would see us cover over 500 miles and some of the most monotonous driving ever including the entire M5.  The trip “up north” was mainly to attend a family funeral, but we also managed to see my family while we were up that way. We have made this trip about 30 times in the last few years and it usually takes us 3.5 hours. This trip, however, took about 5 hrs with one quick pit-stop to refuel the car.

When we finally arrived at my parent’s house, we were literally straight in and then back out the door and my parents drove us to their favourite restaurant, where they had booked a table, as we hadn’t seen them since we were up in early September last year. Also, as it had been my mothers birthday a couple of days earlier, she wanted to treat us. We had a wonderful meal and some great conversation, but it felt a little rushed as we had to also fit in picking up my daughters from two different parts of town and spend time with them as well. The other down side (not for me) was that after picking the kids up, we were taking them out for a meal so this meant having another meal a couple of hours after the last one. I had a nice chat with the kids, caught up on gossip and then dropped them back at home.  This meant that we could check into our hotel after a day of being inside a small Japanese car. We needed a good night’s sleep as we had a full day of driving and a funeral to attend the following day. I headed to the bar for one stiff drink (very unusual for me) before turning in for the night.

The next morning, we got up early and I got suited and literally booted ready for the family funeral later that day. We decided to call in and see my parents again on the way, as we won’t see them again for possibly a year. Then onward 40 miles to pay our respects to a member of Mrs Bob’s family. We were first to arrive, and sat in the crematorium waiting room.  It soon filled up and when it got to standing-room only, my head started to spin with all the different conversations that were taking place around us. So we decided so wait outside… though as it turns out,that was a mistake as it was just as busy outside. The service itself was so different to any I had attended before; the minister addressed the deceased directly and spoke to the family in a very light and not overly religious way. It was very fitting and appropriate.  The chapel was full to bursting with family and friends and was a lovely testament to the life this man had lived.  He really had lived a full and happy life, touched so many people and helped a huge amount of rescue dogs find forever homes through The Dog’s Trust. The rest of the family were all so brave and so very strong, I really don’t know how his wife and young adult daughter managed it, I honestly don’t. They are made of strong stuff indeed.

After such a lovely service we all went to the after-party to celebrate a great man and a great life. There was lots of people there and we ate, drank and talked for hours before finally deciding to make the long journey back to Devon. The trip itself was long and dark, but ultimately uneventful. Mrs Bob and I had  some great conversation and some happy silences while we listened to the radio as the hours and miles ticked by. We reached home and no sooner had Mrs Bob opened the door than our furry housemate, Dog, flew out of the darkness and into the house to tell us what had happened while we were away. As it was pretry late, we climbed on the bed with Dog clambering over us, for cuddles and just relaxed watching some TV before calling it a night. We were both shattered.

Stay Safe X

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