Friday, September 02, 2005

Lucky Stars 

Whoever said it’s better to travel hopefully than to arrive clearly didn’t know the A59.
To find yourself blasting up and down the gears on a gorgeous evening in early September - past Clitheroe and Skipton, through the ever lovely Yorkshire Dales where me and Girlfriend did, well, you know, getting jiggy in our early years, onto Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk; a boot full of beer, your best girl at your side, your windscreen liberally dotted with splattered insect remains, your troubles stuck behind the caravan that you overtook miles ago and a week ahead of “getting it together in the country, man” - what more could you possibly want? I’ll take arriving hopefully every time, please.

We arrived only moments after the cleaner. Charlie, Leanne and Juggling Protégé had already been there for hours. We started the washing up while the emergency cleaners busied about upstairs, apologising a lot. The owner kept ringing Leanne to say sorry too, which at first was courteous but became a kind of harassment by excruciatingly grovelling voicemail.
My friend - my own friend! - Steve joined us and settled in right away with the rest of the group, the sociable bastard. He managed to get everybody thinking he was great in minutes, and it’s not even as if he’s good looking or anything. I gave him a run for his money at table tennis and a few bruises that he won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

Leanne was first up on the cooking rota - pizzas, loads of them, stuffed into the oven like junk mail through a letterbox - ably assisted by Fairly Famous Actor, and afterwards shakey eggs, bongos, harmonicas, recorders and so on were distributed and we practised Lucky Stars. It’s our new holiday anthem.
Then we lay outside and counted them, four shooting stars in about ten minutes. I took it as a sign and made a wish, as four might have seemed greedy.
Later that first night we walked across the road to a scary building at the top of a field, and Leanne and Juggling Protégé screeched like faulty brakes when a horse approached from out of the darkness. Not me obviously. We have an understanding, horses and me.

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