22 May 2020
To The Shire
Yesterday saw us hire a van, load it with our worldly possessions and drive up to Northamptonshire – to our soon to be new home. The reason? To deposit said possessions in a locker, in readiness for moving next week.
In under a week we purchase Nb Silverdale if all goes to plan. So, with little to no time to effect a move, due to Coronavirus mayhem we headed to the shire. It was the first time out for a long drive in a long time…
We were up early on a bright sunny morning that was forecast to be cloudy with showers. We picked up a van from goselfdrive.com in Frome, a totally no contact, socially distanced transaction. The Ford Transit Custom was upgraded to a bigger Ford Transit but we weren’t complaining, we had stuff to haul. I stalled it on a roundabout on the way back to load it but apart from that, it drove really well.
Loading took place in the bright, hot sun. Better than in the forecast rain but it was hot work. A break for a cup of tea and a yogurt replenished the lost body fluid. then back to it. A second cup of tea, a few final items, then we were ready for the off.
Coffee Stop, Yes There Was One
We set off at approximately 11:15. We stopped at Solstice Services in Amesbury and Costa were selling socially distanced drive-thru coffee and a cinnamon bun – Cinanabon! Refreshed, we drove on and on and on.
We arrived at Whilton Locks and the marina at 14:00. All was good. We obtained a locker and then spent an hour doing the exact opposite of what we had done back in Wiltshire, we unloaded the van of all our worldly goods (well, most of them. Some things had forgotten to pack themselves).
We hired the locker for one month. I felt like a character out of The Sweeney with an East End Lock-up. We were lent a fat-off lock which had me spending 10 minutes trying to figure out how to lock up the Lock-up. With the unloading eventually all finished and locked up, we drove around to the marina car park and went to pick up the receipt/agreement.
The fridge and freezer we had ordered had arrived and were scheduled to be installed in readiness for our move aboard. Things were getting real! A parcel had arrived.
Whilton Marina Cafe was closed due to Covid-19 restrictions therefore we went and sat in the van and had a sandwich . Looking out across the marina, it was then that we realised this was to be our new home. It was quiet, peaceful, with birds singing – idyllic. Oh, apart from the trains thundering past on the nearby high speed line. Ah well, with Covid-19 restrictions in place for the foreseeable future, at least there might be less of them for a time 😉
The drive back was uneventful apart from the services being closed and us being unable to source a coffee or a tea. We had to wait until we were back. Tea was welcome as we unwound from the run by watching a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad. I tried to draw some parallels between our plans and the series. Thankfully, I couldn’t!
rp – peace and narrowboats