Lifestyle Support Guru here, ready to share more wisdom with you and help you make the most of those rainy days or, as they are more lovingly known in the UK – SUMMER! You will need the following to ensure you have the greatest chance of an enjoyable day out:
1. A sibling who has bought a drone for photographic purposes but then finds he is not allowed to transport it to his next place of residence (ring any bells, DOT – Dai of Turkey?).
2. Another sibling (TOFU – Trefor of ‘Ull) who is prepared to take the drone off the first sibling’s hands.
3. The second sibling will own a large, gas-guzzling 4×4 suitable for negotiating all those potholes and dunes around Hull, but he will also have been on an off-road experience or two in the Peak District, so it has been put to some PROPER use.
4. A weather forecast that says rain won’t be falling until the afternoon.
Having fulfilled all the necessary criteria, you should set off reasonably early to make the most of the fine weather – 10 am is perfectly acceptable, especially if you had a late night the night before.
You can be sure that, once you reach the ‘green lanes’, about half an hour later, the rain will start. ‘Green lanes’ are tracks that already exist and are public highways, although you wouldn’t want to take a little Kia Picanto along them!
You must ignore any ‘Unsuitable for motor vehicles’ signs at the start of these lanes because that is part of the fun! And it is made even more fun by seeing the looks on the faces of the walkers and cyclists who didn’t expect to see a dirty great Land Rover creeping up behind them
on a lane marked as ‘Unsuitable for motor vehicles’. What larks, as you pass them with a sweet smile and a wave while they look disdainful and/or disgruntled in their wet anoraks or lycra. It is a very pleasant way of making yourself feel superior, although you wonder if you may have to ask for their help a little later as TOFU negotiates some rather rutted tracks and you ask in a quiet voice, ‘Is there a point at which we might tip over?’ TOFU laughs light-heartedly and replies, ‘Oh, we’d have to tilt over a lot more than this.’ Curiously enough, a couple of miles further on, it is your turn to laugh light-heartedly as TOFU’s voice is a little quiet when he says, ‘Hmm, I think this is as far as I’d feel happy tilting.’
After all this tilting, you may feel the need for some refreshment, so you find a little country pub tucked away in the middle of nowhere and order a half of something called ‘Old Snouty’s Rat Juice’ or similar and settle down, the only customers, waiting for all the locals to turn up and start discussing the price of lamb or cattle feed; instead, a hipster couple turns up, looks all around the pub (which is rather small), and the following conversation ensues:
Hipster Man: Do you have a table booked for seven for lunch?
HM: Are they here yet? (Remember, he has just looked all around the pub.)
B (and I swear she tried not to sigh, having seen him look around the pub): No.
HM: Do you do Sunday roast?
HM: Do you do it today? (It’s Saturday)
B: No, but we do a roast of the day. Today is lamb.
Luckily, the rest of the party turned up at that point, because I was beginning to think I’d walked onto the set of some undiscovered Samuel Beckett play. However, things didn’t improve greatly because one of the party read out (loudly) every item on the menu to his wife, who then insisted on repeating the items and asking what came with them. TOFU and I finished our Rat Juice and left to return to the comparative sanity of life in the city.
One final point – I can guarantee the rain will stop the moment you get back to ‘civilisation’.
That is my annual visit to the country done for this year – there is only so much fresh air one can inhale!