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It was now Friday. All things being equal I should have been home with my feet up yesterday, but things have a way of not quite working out exactly as planned. Since Bear and I didn’t leave on Sunday, since we had to pick up Gordon and because of the “emergency” stop at Adam and Ali’s, our timeframe had shifted somewhat.
We met in the reception of the hotel at 8am, ready to hit the road. However, there was a concerning stain under the engine of the Stepwagon. Bear was convinced it was oil, and Gordon backed him up. They’re both ex-forces, so they’re well trained in saying things with utmost authority when they might not quite know what they’re talking about.
Looking back, I should have noted that the stain was not jet black, in fact it looked more like water. (In fact, it was water, harmless water from the AC run-off… at the time I didn’t even think of that.)
I moved the van, Bear checked the dipstick and declared that there was hardly any oil left in the engine. So I drove to a very nearby petrol station, bought some oil and put it in. Then I called Ciaran, explained the situation, and took everyone to the local Halfords. The Halfords guy checked the oil and told me it had about half a can too much in there.
Yeah, it wasn’t oil. And we couldn’t find any other problems.
Fortunately for us, we had to go to Ciaran’s in Hemel Hempstead first anyway as that’s were Bear’s car was parked. Gordon was planning to go with Bear to Banbury, where Bear lives, and pick up the damn 4×4, which he’d be then driving back to Medyka, ready to use for medical deliveries in and around Ukraine itself.
So I took it easy on the journey up the M20 and around the M25, mindful of the fact that all things being equal I probably should have drained a bit of oil, but we had done that many miles, it did need topping up… just perhaps not quite so much!
We arrived at Ciaran’s around ten past eleven. He gave the Stepwagon the once over and declared there was nothing wrong with it THANK GOD. I thought I was going to have to hire a car for the last bit of the journey to Stockport with Natasha and the kids.
So then, I bade Bear, Gordon and Ciaran fond farewells and thanked them for all their incredible support for UK4UKR and once again hit the road. However, since it was the Friday of the Bank Holiday Weekend, both the M1 and the M6 were crazy busy, so we ended up taking the scenic route.
We stopped at Rugby services for some lunch, and arrived at Amanda and Laurence’s house in Stockport at quarter to five in the afternoon.
Amanda and Laurence were lovely and their house was amazing. Natasha and her kids are sure to be happy there. I was given a selection of cheeses and a massive side of ham as a gift for bringing them over safely, which was way more exciting than it had any right to be. What can I say? I love cheese!
So we got a photo together and then once again I was back on the road. But not to Durham! My step-daughters were on scout camp for the May Day holiday weekend in York and Kat and I had volunteered to help out.
I paid for another day’s worth of emergency vehicle insurance (as my insurance ran out at 6pm) and arrived at the camp at 8pm, just in time for din dins… the cheese and ham is on me!
It would have been nice to sleep in my normal bed after all that, but I was just happy to be back with my fam.
Stay tuned… I’m planning on going back to Germany to fetch Ollie at some point in the next few weeks!
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