Lancy, Lancy Lancy Lancy, Lancashire – In the name of Thiago – Day 233
Today was the last day of my annual leave and I definitely made every last moment count. After making sure that the builders and fitters were settled in, the girls and I jumped in the car and headed 18 junctions up the M6 to meet our friends Tinny and Saira in Lancaster.
Tinny and Saira are friends from Eastbourne but they’re currently staying in Tinny’s converted VW Transporter on the far western edges of the Lake District, so it was a case of finding somewhere reasonably pleasant to meet that was roughly halfway between our two starting points.
Lancaster was the chosen place. Aside from its slightly annoying one way system, Lancaster is somewhere I really enjoy visiting. I think it suffers slightly from its location, as The Lakes are just a junction or two further up the motorway. In that respect, Lancaster is like the north west equivalent of Devon – somewhere you go passed on your way to your end destination.
The photo above is from The Sun Inn. Angélica and I have stayed at this lovely old place a couple of times now. It’s not inexpensive but it’s somewhere you feel very comfortable. We ended up staying here for a couple of hours and changing our plans slightly but that wasn’t important today – it was all about spending time with friends.
We went in search of the castle and found this interesting piece of architecture. I’ve been friends with Tinny for a very long time, he’s known me through thick and thin – and there’s been a hell of a lot of thin. He’s a fairly quiet fella and is a very good counterbalance to my slightly more anarchic way of life shall we say.
We did eventually find the castle - it shouldn’t have been anywhere near as tricky as we made it on account of 1) there were signs for it, and 2) it was right next to the pub we went to later in the day and which I’d been to a few years back on one occasion.
There were a couple of moments where Thiago cropped up in conversation, (entirely my fault) and it seemed that Saira felt awkward about it and of course that’s totally understandable. But she’s the kind of lady that you just couldn’t imagine causing anyone any offence. Like Angélica, she’s a nurse, although as she pointed out, her specialism is in the mental rather than the physical side. We had both bases covered today!
Before we headed off in our respective directions, we stopped for a drink in Merchants – a fascinating little place with long tunnelled rooms. The beer choices weren’t that imaginative but it’s all about the location here for me. And, of course, the friends we came to meet. Before we left, Tinny and I spoke about how we might be able to meet again on my walk. Her ladyship had a great time too, she got on with Saira like a house on fire. It’s amazing how sociable she can be on the occasions when she’s out of bed!
In case you’re reading this blog for the first time, allow me to remind you what this is all about. In less than four weeks I shall be taking on a month-long trek from Eastbourne to Stoke-on-Trent to fundraise for Royal Stoke University Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Both places looked after my son Thiago in his tragically short lifetime and now I’m doing my bit for them and asking for your support in doing that.