Wednesday, November 6

A tripod, marmalade and good lunch

I always enjoy trips to St Albans and today's was no exception. AT took me to The Wicked Lady, one of the best restaurants I've frequented for simple fare, where we managed to make three courses last over three hours!

I can recommend a visit to the gents where some nice scraperboard drawings can be viewed. AT made several visits during the afternoon.

Returned with a good full-size tripod which I have often wished I'd had so perhaps I can produce a few steadier images in the fading light later this year - particularly those involving the moon as I continue to chase that photo of a thin crescent in a clear sky. There was a price but only the equivalent of what AT paid for it in Malaya some years ago which worked out at a very modest £8.

Free were two jars of Mrs AT's tremendous marmalade, still warm from being brewed earlier that same day. And some stamps as the pair are some of the few people remaining who actually seem to get mail bearing stamps these days.

One of the problems of returning rather later than planned was the roads getting busy and, in particular, the M1 was pretty unpleasant. I thought I'd see what the new car's navigation system would make of the journey and hit the Home button. Strolling up the M1 was all well and good to start with and I was happy to give Dunstable a miss at that time of day. However, when it didn't suggest breaking off at the A43 or whatever comes next I began to wonder just where it was taking me. It had, a little oddly but perhaps understandably as it had been quite quick, taken me north up the A5 and then across some lanes to J16 (A45) to get to St Albans from Astcote. So maybe it was heading me back the same way. Er, no, it wasn't looking that way. The traffic was getting slower and slower so I decided to get off there anyway. Then I realised that 'Home' was wherever the last owner had set as home - probably somewhere in Wales!! That didn't explain the strange start in the morning but it did explain the home run directions.

Collected some trousers and a jumper from Tescos in Towcester (I really should have taken that A43 turn!) and finally home around 6pm. I was half expecting to see a client in Cambridgeshire tomorrow but today has been the seventh in a series of long car trips nearly every day. Collecting Kirri from school on Tuesday. Dodders on Wednesday. In and out of local villages on Thursday. London with Marta and then running around Buckingham later at night with Bryony on Saturday. MK and back Sunday. Leyland and back Monday. St Albans today. Phew.

I think the car deserves a rest tomorrow. I am looking forward to the marmalade.