Easy As Falling Off a Bike pt 3156

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The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 3156
by Angharad

Copyright© 2017 Angharad

  
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This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
*****

263 dozen for our dodecaphiles (or a dozen 263s).

Despite Danielle nearly dying from acute embarrassment at her parents kissing and cuddling on the bed—on top of my clothes, and their subsequent ironing—we managed to leave the next morning almost on time. The amount the two girls packed into the boot made me wonder if the front wheels would actually touch the road, but they did and I managed to shut the hatch back. Before we packed I borrowed the dog guard to put across the back seat in case we were involved in an accident, things flying from the back seat have been known to kill or injure people in the front ones. So everything was stowed safely, the tank was full of fuel—Simon, bless him, had filled it for me while I started ironing the clothes he’d helped me crease by lying on them. Sometimes we have genuine teamwork.

David had come over early and made us a packed lunch and also made us eat a cooked breakfast. After stuffing bacon and egg, fried bread, mushrooms, sausages, tomatoes and toast I almost felt like going back to bed to sleep it off. Instead I finished packing the car and loaded the flask of boiling water, teabags and milk into a plastic box secured to the floor behind Danielle’s seat. There were tears as two or three others now perhaps regretted their decisions to stay behind, but we held firm and hugged and kissed them before departing at seven o’clock.

We missed some of the local rush hour but caught up with it further on as we worked our way towards the M25 and then the M1. The M25 was heavy with traffic and we at times crawled along with another four lanes, heading clockwise in our search for the M1. It was about ninety minutes later that we found it and we stopped at some services between St Albans and Luton for a wee, a walk and some refreshment. I topped up the fuel tank with diesel and we set off again. This time Hannah snoozed in the back of the car while Danni and I chatted and she programmed the sat nav, which I normally ignore but on such a long drive decided I’d use but just in case I had a map and compass as well.

Like many luxury cars, Jaguars have their own built in sat nav system but I left Danielle to play with it which essentially was putting in our own post code and that of Stanebury. A route emerged and I agreed it was probably the shortest, so up the A3 we went to the M25 thence to the M1 and here we were at the services eating a sandwich and drinking coffee at nine o’clock in the morning.

Motorway driving is said to be the safest, except when accidents do happen, they’re often serious as my own experience would testify. It was Wednesday and tomorrow was deemed to be the most busy day on the roads when everyone who owns a car in the whole universe tries to get into Devon and Cornwall at the same time, with tailbacks out past Saturn—I suppose they could check out Enceladus and see if there is anything living there or if it’s still waiting for it all to happen.

To be honest, we still don’t know how life began on earth, well except those who believe in creationism—they have certainty, it’s total hogwash, so I suppose I have certainty as well, but not in how life started. The two main ideas are that it began spontaneously somewhere in the sea, possibly near a geothermal vent. The second is that it was seeded from outside by something like a comet—many of them crashed into earth in the early years of the universe, which started about two billion years before earth formed, the latter being about 4.6 billion years ago at most recent estimates. They also think life might have started earlier than originally thought, possibly as soon as a billion years after formation.

Lunch was taken near Leicester and Danni sent David a text to say his packed lunch was delicious. She got one back saying he was glad. Next stop was at Leeds and then we crossed to the M6 and headed towards the Lake District and finally the M74 in Scotland.

At our stop for fuel and a snack near Glasgow, I called Mr Dunstan and told him where we were, he told me all was ready and he looked forward to seeing Danielle and me again—he’s a lovely chap and so helpful. After visiting the loos, we were off again and it was now early evening. I admit I stopped more often than I would have done on my own, so it has taken longer, but we were on the last quarter of the journey now—thank goodness.

Up the M9 towards Stirling, where James I (VI of Scotland) lived for a while, then across to the M90 and Perth, from there we had about half an hour to go to Stanebury. Hannah was moaning before we got to Perth, wishing she’d stayed at home, Danielle just looked across at me and smiled knowingly. I had told them it was a long drive.

Once the castle was sighted, Hannah’s whingeing turned to wonder and she couldn’t wait to see inside. I couldn’t wait to get a fresh cuppa and get out of this, albeit luxurious, tin box on wheels.

Mr Dunstan made a real fuss of us and while I sat and chatted with him over a delicious cup of Twinings, Danielle showed her sister over the castle, she came back suitably impressed and was glad she’d come and couldn’t understand why Trish and Livvie hadn’t. Danielle did try to explain that the first time Trish had come, they’d nearly been killed and the second time a young lady named Alice had killed herself because of bullying by her father. Hannah had some experience of that from her father, who if you recall got flattened by Simon and I in fact had also knocked him down when he attacked me in a lay-by as I helped Hannah and Ingrid escape his control.

Hannah seemed unmoved by Danielle’s stories and said she thought the castle was ‘awesome’. Trish might differ and call it awful. For a week or so, I’m going to call it home and trust it and our host, Mr Dunstan, to look after us for the period.

“It’s not haunted is it?” asked Hannah at bed time.

“Not as far as I know,” replied John Dunstan. She looked at me for reassurance and I nodded my agreement with Mr Dunstan. Danielle went off to bed an hour later and I sat by the log fire in the study and finished my wine. I would sleep like a top, I was very tired and the alcohol had already made me feel sleepy. I put the fireguard in front of the hearth and went to bed, slipping into the arms of Morpheus within a few minutes.

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