We departed the Grim North (Nottingham) at 5 PM on Sunday. Sadly during my stay I did not sample local culinary delights such as Cock-on-a-stick (Nottingham) or Pikelets and Wrights Pies (Stoke). Instead it was wonderful food from the mother-in-law, who showed great self-restraint and managed to praise Tony Blair only once during our visit). And there was no time to go out and visit the abandoned factories and look at the poor folks who cannot afford shoes as they searched the garbage cans for their next meal. An opportunity missed.
Getting back to the civilised south was the problem. As we moved down the M42 traffic slowed and then ground to a halt. Perhaps there was a problem at passport control as the few thousand Northerners with a work ethic jammed the gates as they headed back to paid employment in the bountiful south after a weekend with the wife, kids and whippets? Actually it was a lorry on its way back from bringing emergency relief to the folks in Stoke, that had jack-knifed and left us stranded in the pitch black for almost five hours.
At last the Old Bill cleared the hard shoulder and we made our escape finally arriving in Bristol at 12.30. Downton Abbey was videoed and that treat awaits tonight.