I was driving 460 miles from Waterbeach to Kingussie ahead of the biggest weekend of my life.
We’d brought Dad home on the Tuesday, made sure he was well fed that night,
and even did a bit of tidying in the garden the next day.
I love my parents’ company, but I struggle with the instant coffee, so I had to pop across The Gault to Pharmacie, the newly non-trendy cafe for a flat back and orange cask, or whatever it’s called.
I thought I might be staying for a while, but on Thursday morning Dad said “When are you going ?”.
And I knew it was time.
“We’re off to Orkney, Mrs RM, get packed“.
I said goodbye to Mum at 10:58, picked up Mrs RM at 14:48, went back to check we’d locked the conservatory 10 minutes later, and at 21:38 we arrived in Kingussie, just over the hill from Balmoral, which had just become the most important place on earth.
But that’s half the story.
Just shy of Grantham the traffic stopped completely for half an hour, and I had to take a torturous diversion throughthe narrow lanes of Cringle Brook, which I’d never heard of before. Are there ANY pubs in this extract.
And them having diverted to pick Mrs RM up in Sheffield, we got caught in a torrential downpour in the area known as “Scotland”, and stopped at Abington Services on the M74 for a raid on the WH Smith chocolate cabinet.
Which was when he heard The News.
Now I have tremendous respect for The Queen, but I’m afraid my first thought was;
“They’re going to close the pubs and scupper my GBG completion, aren’t they ?”. Mrs RM was thinking the same.
But it was too late to turn back now.
We arrived at our four poster self-check-in room in Kingussie at 21:38. Mrs RM did a midnight work call, and I stared forlornly at the un-pinked map.
I booked a room in Kirkwall for the next night, with five (5) ticks in 6 minutes of walking ahead of us.
Or possibly six (6) closed doors.