28 December 2008
We got up rather early this morning as I had scheduled to pick up the hired car at 0900. I walked over to the bus stop at around 0830 just in time to watch #285 (the bus I needed) go screaming past with not even a hint of stopping. On Sundays this bus only runs every 20 minutes and I knew where I was going, so I hoofed it. I arrived at my destination about 15 steps ahead of the next #285 and felt pretty good about it. The Avis rental location was just another 100 paces or so beyond the bus stop and I had lost no time by deciding to walk rather than wait for the bus. I walked in to Avis, saw my name and slot on the board and had I not needed to make a change to the reservation, I could have gotten into my already-running (did I mention it was -1 degree celsius?) Renault Mergane and driven off. Eventually I did get in to the warm car, familiarised myself with its workings and drove off. This may only be my 7th time in the U.K. but driving here is so familiar and easy for me; I fell into the routine immediately of round-a-bouts, driving on the left, looking right-left-right rather than left-right-left as we are taught from an early age in the U.S. and my favourite, the brief yellow light that warns you the light is turning green. I love driving over here.
We got our bearing, turned the car North and headed toward Scotland on the M1. We made several loo and food stops along the way (The Cock in Potterspury being exceptionally delightful) with the final stop being in Alnwick (pronounced “ann-nick”). We pulled into a charming hotel on the outskirts of the Village called the Oaks Hotel and tucked right into a dinner of Gammon & Eggs which we washed down with Marston’s Pedigree and a fine Winter Ale.
Dinner Ale
It was a beautiful, wonderful if exhausting day made the better by knowing that only another 30 miles or so to Scotland and another 50-60 miles beyond that lie Edinburgh, the ultimate destination of our trip. We are tired, but having a great time and very much in love both with this island country and each other.

~KR (Written on 30 December 2008 )

Listening to:
Classical FM in a B&B in Edinburgh