You are bonkers!

Not a bad last day of being thirty-something.

Laura and Nigel fed us breakfast and sent us packing with a bag full of sandwiches and other goodies.  (Thanks for your endless hospitality, as I slowly fill up your guest register!)  Most of the drive north we had gorgeous blue skies and only a fleeting glimpse of Proper British Drizzle.  I introduced Ma to the music of Ingrid Serban & Forest Sun & Alisa Rose.  Given the nearly 300 miles from Bath to Carlisle, we even had time to discuss the oh so simple topic of religion and faith, where mutual respect and open minds allowed us to at least get a better understanding of our different perspectives.  We don’t waste time with idle conversation in this car!  No siree!

We reached Carlisle, filled the rental car (an Audi A4 Avant very reminiscent of my old A6), practiced a few right turns which always feel weird here, and then dropped the car at Hertz.  I think Ma’s had enough adventure already from my driving.  It’s an automatic, but it disengages the engine whenever we’re idle in traffic, and she thinks it’s stalling out every time.  So I suspect she was relieved to be a pedestrian once again.  (192 miles of it should fix that!)

We raced down the cobblestone street to the train station only to miss the penultimate train (carrying Moe and Eric we later learned) by only 5 minutes.  It was an hour’s wait for the last train of the day.  The countryside and especially the first views of the Irish Sea were stunning, and we determined via the map where we’ll be crossing those train tracks tomorrow.

When we arrived at St. Bees Station, Seth, Moe, and Eric were there to greet us at the platform and help with bags.  Stonehouse Farm is right next to the train station, but we spent only a minute in our room since dinner had already convened at Manor House, a short walk.  Fashionably late we were, but how nice to embrace our fellow Pebbles at last, all but Charles who will join at Kirkby Stephen, and of course Laura at Grosmont!

What decade of life would be complete without a polar bear swim in the (not technically) freezing Irish Sea, on a dare from one’s wife, Jessica, back home?  A local passerby walking his dog and wearing a winter coat saw our towels as we walked toward the beach and said, “Going swimming?  You are bonkers!”  Ma and Ealish documented, while Maurice, Eric, Tim and I disrobed to various extents, entered slowly, submerged, then exited post-haste.  Seth, fully clothed and dry, watched with amusement, “you idiots,” broadcast in all but words.  At least the relentless cold wind dried us off quickly!

The pebbles representing us Pebbles shall be selected in the morning, and begin their migration to the North Sea, first by way of Ennerdale Bridge.  Onward!

4 thoughts on “You are bonkers!”

  1. I’m looking forward to experiencing this endeavor vicariously through your written words. What a great way to begin this new decade.
    Step carefully.

  2. I’m having such a great time keeping up with you both. Doing great! Happy birthday, Ben, and happy travels! Sending lots of love and happy thoughts your way. From Dan: “…Does he say how the sandwiches were?”

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