Is Rossella fine? Yes, of course she is. I wrote a lot about Briony in the last article, so let’s say a little about things seen through my eyes.
It took two days to reach Northern England. I drove through Switzerland (beautiful scenery but slow drivers and much traffic) and France, none around and very boring landscape. I drove to France the day after Nice’s terrorist attack, all was very sad and silent. My hotel was fine at the first sight: extra large comfy bed but… we had a visitor in the room, it was a cockroach and, on the following day Briony was loaded with fleas! There were cats around the hotel so, let’s blame them but it was not so nice, I to had to stop several times along the way to de-flea her and the car… I also locked myself out of the room for at least three times: not my fault, these doors were locking themselves by themselves and, if you forgot the little card inside the room (easy if you are unloading the car and have to be careful about the dog) you were out. I think the hotel employees did not like me much at that point.
I just mentioned the car: it sort of broke down the evening before I left: lucky the Suzuki mechanics fixed it past their working hours, but I came home at half past nine and I had to load the car in the darkness… Therefore I brought too many things with me, as I always do. But… well… last year I did not spot any supermarkets in the area so I sort of prepared myself as If I were going to spend a month in the wilderness, now I know there are supermarkets here… Anyway, I reached my destination pretty easily and I am driving around well, despite the fact these people drive on the wrong side of the road. I even managed to learn and recognize routes and places which sounds pretty good to me. I found a couple of grocery shops and I especially like Morrison’s supermarket, they have a good choice of real foods. At the moment I am staying a a Bed & Breakfast in Woodland, Co. Durham, on a farm and I like it. People are friendly and helpful and Briony can roam freely around the house, interacting nicely with their dogs. I spent a night at the Black Bull Inn in Reeth which was fine but I did not like Reeth and I do better on bed and breakfast placed on farms.
I had a couple of problems with the car, but one was solved and the other one has been solved partially. The first one was quite peculiar: a dog trailer ahead of me moved a giant stone which went right underneath my car. Me and Maddy Raynor dug like moles underneath the car but we eventually had to find some other people to push it forward. The other problem is a broken left mirror, I think I might have to get a new one….(not my fault this time!).
What else, I am really enjoying the trials and the training sessions I had. It is really nice to be surrounded by helpful people and I was especially pleased to be allowed to go grouse counting three times. On a more mundane side I discovered charity shops. They are simply great if you are a bargain hunter! My wristwatch broke, but I got a stylish new (second hand) one for a ridiculous price and a wonderful pair of heather coloured trousers in size 6 (which means I lost weight!).
Last, but not least, the scenery is great and I like the weather too (it keeps changing and it is always windy, but I like it). I also like to be surrounded by sheep, cattle, grouse and other wildlife. I hope the people living here realize how precious these things are. I shall grab some food now but I will try to keep you updated. Still curious about British trials? Check the section A Month on the Moor or click here.