It’s always important to get Bedfordshire clear before the end of October, before the tourists arrive in their masses.
My last tick comes in the tourist honeypot of Upper Dean, just south of Thrapston Services and not far from that Ellington pub that BRAPA loved when I drove him round the Hunts.
Look how frantic the High Street of nearby posh Kimbolton was on Sunday.
By law you have to photograph Kimbolton in black and white to preserve its 1950s character.
But rules are there to be broken, as in Sam Smiths pubs.
Actually there’s a wedding fayre this Sunday at Kimbolton Castle, so you may see a bit more activity on the B645, probably in the obligatory French restaurant.
Just west of Kimbolton, Upper Dean, as well as Nether Dean and Lower Dean, have escaped my attention for 54 years.
I arrived as the crabapples lay still on the ground, until I crunch them in my Eichmann shoes.
An autumnal part of the world, particularly up towards Oundle where the world conkers championships take place.
In Upper Dean the only excitement comes from a stiffly worded letter from the clerk of the parish council appended to the notice board. Recent roadworks saw the village cut off from civilisation, apparently.
The locals may, therefore, not have been able to get to Rushden WH Smiths to buy their new GBG and find out the Three Compasses has put them firmly on the map (Page 36 to be precise).
A typical rustic ex-Charles Wells village pub packed with OAP diners who eye me suspiciously when I pop in for a beer.
I eye the complimentary nuts with even more suspicion, and make the wrong beer choice, as the sole bloke seated at the bar orders his third Tribute of the session.
Above the sound of gentlefolk whispering, “Easy Lover” and “The Gambler” play, both entirely inappropriate for the clientele. The only excitement comes when the chips arrive.
My IPA is solid but leaves indistinct lacings, a fact I decline to share with the munchers.
But wait, what’s this in the Gents ?
Wilko luxury hand lotion. All is forgiven.