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Martin had called me the evening before to confirm that it was on and that he wanted to leave at about 8:30 if I could get there by that time. He advised that I should bring my Wellington boots as well as a packed lunch. If he hadn't dropped that into the conversation I would probably have forgotten all about food for the day. A mad scrabble around the fridge and cupboards saw me putting together a packed lunch of a couple of bags of crisps, some mini packs of Maltesers and some cheese sandwiches laced with whatever was left in the bottom of a bottle of garlic and herb dressing left over from the summer.
The alarm woke me at 6:30 and I leapt into action stumbling downstairs and slowly making a cup of coffee interrupted part way through by the noise and having to look out of the window at the torrential rain that was beating down. I drank my coffee while searching the different teletext pages looking for the best weather forecast I could find. They were pretty much all the same and that wasn't good. The thought did cross my mind that I could always phone Martin and say I wasn't able to go but figured that wouldn't be right. I decided instead that I would take not only my Wellingtons but also the bright green rubberized waterproofs that I had stored away for a rainy day. I made my thermos of coffee packed my rucksack and then returned to my bedroom for my wardrobe crisis. I didn't know what to wear. Whatever I decided on was probably going to end up being wrong so, since it was going to be cold it seemed easiest to wear everything.
By half past seven I was out of the house and briskly marching up to the bus stop feeling quite warm in the cold, damp morning air but feeling a little silly carrying my Wellingtons, which wouldn't fit in my rucksack and looking a bit fatter than normal. The bus came by quarter to eight and having paid the 2.20 single fare I was soon seated and on my way. I spent at least the first ten minutes of the journey convinced that a heinous mistake had been made and that I had been overcharged. The stop after the one I wanted was Cribbs Causeway where I had gone a couple of days earlier from Kingswood and a return ticket had cost me 2.10! I soon overheard some other passengers being charged similar amounts and concluded it was just one of those crazy public transport type things. That together with the rain water sloshing backwards and forwards on the inside of the window rubber threatening to drip all over me as the bus stopped and started managed to take my mind off the conundrum. A strange diversion around Queens Road was forced upon us because it seemed that a giant crane was being put together by smaller ones like a monster Meccano set down the middle of the road. The diversion gave us all a glimpse of an unknown world as we passed a launderette all packed with groups of chatting people. Would my quality of life be better without a washing machine I wondered. I imagined trying it out by pretending.... but what if they found out I had one!!
Only a little wetter than when I set out it wasn't long before I was getting off and heading off on the short walk to Martins house. I arrived to find the front door ajar and everything pretty much in hand. Martin had readied the Land Rover and was more or less ready to leave. After a quick coffee we were on our way past all the signs that warned that later today the road would be shut for essential bridge works. Passing under the M5 Avonmouth bridge towards the motorway it became pretty clear that some work was most definitely essential and as soon as possible. Two of the huge bridge supports were not connected to the floor and were actually hanging in mid air! I had done this sort of thing recently to a wall in my house. In a desperate attempt to remedy a rising damp problem on a load-bearing wall I had chiseled out a brick at a time and inserted a damp proof membrane before re cementing each brick back in place. It took me weeks and since the house is still standing I suppose it was successful. Assuming the bridge to be the same I wondered why the original builders hadn't thought of a rising damp problem given after all that it does stand on the banks of the tidal Severn estuary spanning the mouth of the river Avon. A predominance of much dampness, generally rising.
We were soon on the motorway and roaring along in a deafening noise at about 60mph heading toward the new Severn crossing. The old bridge, which I have grown up with, seems to invite you to cross it by sitting there large in the distance for some time as you approach. The new one somehow hides and leaps out at you. All of a sudden we were on it and heading out across the water toward the opposite shore. The views all around were clear for miles and some breaks in the cloud allowed shafts of sunlight through to lay highlights as a draw to the eye.
Over the bridge and funneled into one of the vast expanse of tollbooths that stretched out like a net to catch the passing flow. 4.20 of Martin's money paid and we were off again. Roaring along as fast as the strong headwind would allow, Martin chain-smoked his pre made roll your own cigarettes as we headed for the agreed meeting place, .a lay-by I knew not where. Since I was just along for the ride I had the luxury of really not caring where and was happy to let my mind wander as the scenery rolled by and Martin concentrated on the driving.
We were soon pulling off the road into the lay-by as I expressed suitable admiration and as Martin congratulated himself on having arrived within two minutes of the agreed rendezvous. As we drove down the lay-by road between the lorries we came across a small caravan type trailer that, as indicated by its brightly painted sides, was used as a traveler and truckers snack bar. No one was near it and yet it was wide open since the front serving hatch door was lying in the road in front of it. As we passed we could just make out trays of unbroken eggs on a counter inside together with some other stock. We debated whether or not the wind could have opened it up but soon came to the conclusion that someone must have broken into it perhaps during the night. We ended up debating capital punishment and whilst I thought that was a little extreme for such a crime I appreciated the arguments.
Martin called Tony on his mobile phone to be told that they would be there within a few minutes. True enough before Martin had even finished his next cigarette, looking in his rear view mirror he announced they were coming. Soon pulling up behind us was a newish, left hand drive, green army camouflaged, short wheel base land rover with white 'SFOR' lettering on the doors. The troops had arrived! Tony got out with his friend Mick and cheery introductions were done. Some bonding small talk mostly about off road vehicles and how Mick had been in the army and driven lots of them and then we were ready to go. Off we went in convoy with Martins sand coloured land rover leading the way with something like thirty five years age difference between the vehicles although in those thirty five years it seemed as though little change had been made to the design.
I busied myself daydreaming as Martin drove, idly watching fields and villages pass by in a blur. In the middle of the countryside a man was jogging around a field. Far from any civilization another man was jogging down a country lane. Either these people were very fit or there was no public transport to speak of at all in this part of Wales.
We drove parallel with the river Usk, over to our right across the field, fast flowing white water over brown not quite in flood. And then to our left a canal with a bridge over it and Martin saying see the tunnel and oh dear someone's gone over there as we passed by the fenced off knocked down wall. The canal ran under the hill over which we drove. Without a towpath this was the real thing where boatmen once lay on their backs atop their boat and walked the length of it as the horse was taken round and over the top.
All of a sudden without hesitation displaying his familiarity with the area Martin turned abruptly left and started to head off up the narrow lane that climbed the hill. A quarter of a mile or so ahead the old resident of an isolated house had decided to get his car out of its awkward parking space and was reversing it onto the road in front of us. We continued driving towards him and slowed down only as we got closer. Obviously suddenly seeing the intimidating sight of two Land Rovers filling his mirror he quickly decided almost in a panic to put his car back in his drive so that we could pass. I wanted to stop and agree that isn't that always the way. No traffic for months and then the minute you want to go somewhere you get stuck in a jam! Typical.
Carrying on up the road we were climbing at quite a rate. Before long the lane degenerated into a heavily potholed farm track. Views across to distant hills and the valley below began to open up as the hedges disappeared and trees began to thin. Forking right at a signpost indicating the left hand route to a farmhouse, we soon came to a gate. Knowing my place I leapt out undid the locking bar and flung it back so that the vehicles could get through. I was relieved at my post by Mick who was going to shut the gate behind us so as if in a relay race I ran back to Martins Land Rover and got back in. Sheep were gathered on either side of the track and watched us pass by seemingly uninterested as they chomped on the hay that had obviously recently been replenished and licked at the strange mineral balls that had been placed in the specially designed plastic dispensers. We soon saw not far away to our left what we assumed was a farmer tending to the feed and doing the replenishing. It seemed strange to see the vehicle he was using to do the job. Difficult to see the exact make from a distance but it was clearly a shiny newish four-wheel drive of the type more familiar with a supermarket car park. Something of an unusual choice, I thought, since surely a shiny paint job and body coloured plastic bumpers wouldn't stand the harsh test of a farmer's time.
On up the track we climbed and soon we were starting to do the 'real thing'. Few people would describe what we were now driving along as a road. Only seasoned off roaders perhaps. It was to me simply a couple of ribbons of rubble scratched out of the course grass around the side of the hill. Hundreds of feet below in the distance a river snaked along the valley floor. There was precious little between us and it and here and there the uneven tracks would twist independently up and down making the car lean tortuously over demanding that we look through the drivers door window seemingly straight down to where we might stop if we did actually tumble. Experience had given Martin a feel for what was and what was not an acceptable lean but I was less sure. Every now and then my stomach would clench in unison with other bits of me, as I was sure my time had come. I wouldn't have been quite so worried if the car had some form of roll cage but it was quite clear that since it was little more than a glorified soft top, save for a little glass, metal and fiberglass, if we did roll over we would without doubt both be squished flat. Fantasies of judging it perfectly and opening the door and leaping out at the last moment were comforting but quite ridiculous. It occurred to me that one of the least attractive parts of such an outcome would be my embarrassment. Whoever had to clear up the mess would find out that I was wearing a hat, boots, gloves, a coat, three shirts, two pairs of socks, underwear AND Damart thermal long johns!!! The humiliation.
Onwards and upwards the Land Rovers slowly scrabbled. Birds circled below us as I bounced around on my seat, hanging onto the steel bulkhead in front of me, my hands numb with the cold of the metal or maybe with the anxious, vice like grip. With a little relief we suddenly popped up over a slope and were presented with a rolling grass covered hilltop over which the track was cut, disappearing into the distance.
Here was a good place to have a quick breather, take stock and enjoy the view. I had some difficulty opening the door and soon found out it was because of the wind blowing against it. It was blowing a gale up there and yet the sun was out and it looked beautiful. Martin also got out but didn't at first realise how windy it really was because he was slightly sheltered by the Land Rover. As he walked out of its protection the wind took it's chance and to his horror, stole his hat from his head. Luckily it fell behind Tony's Land Rover and Martin was able to catch up with it before it was lost to some distant hungry sheep forever. We briefly chatted, the drivers sharing notes on their ascent, and looked at the panoramic view of the far off valley and the more distant hills, some wearing a hint of snow glistening in the sun. Martin said he couldn't tell how high we were because he couldn't get his mobile GPS device working. Damn I thought. Damn, damn, damn!!!
Gosh it was cold. We all got back into the Land Rovers. It was freezing up there. The terrible wind chill just tore away our body heat in an instant. Sat inside in the relative warmth feeling very cold I felt a quiet respect for the two walkers we could see in the distance disappearing over the hill. One day I will try walking over hills with a tent on my back but that day will have to be a lot warmer than this.
We were soon on our way again this time over much muddier ground. Now the trouble with muddy ground is that heavy vehicles with big tires and careless drivers can make quite a groove in soft earth. As soon as a muddy groove develops, water collects in the groove and if that water can run off down a slope the erosive power of water will make the groove much deeper. It doesn't take much for such a groove to then become undriveable and a different way has to be found around it. It is clear that given enough careless traffic and the right circumstances, whole swathes of the countryside can be turned into an unusable, impassable, furrowed mess. I can well understand landowners' objections. Up on the top of that hill this was starting to happen and the tracks of 'less responsible' drivers who had made their own tracks off the main track were pointed out to me.
The main track had become quite deep and in places was so full of water that there was little indication of how deep it was. We soon came to a huge sump of water, which only the brave or foolish would drive into. Leaving the main track we took to the virgin ground alongside and made our new route around the obstacle rejoining the main track further along. At one point we were stopped by what can only be described as a sinkhole that had opened up in the right hand wheel furrow. We all got out and wandered around the top of the hill looking for any rocks and stones that we could find that would fill it up enough to drive over. We were soon on our way again congratulating ourselves, as though any damage we had done in passing was cancelled out by this bit of repair work. It wasn't long before we were off the hilltop and were starting to descend on the other side and were back on more rocky surfaces. This was less comfortable with all the jolting, but rather more predictably driven over, despite the fact that there was so much water running through the rocks that the track often looked more like a stream than any sort of drivable route.
Seemingly in the middle of nowhere as the track went amongst a stand of trees we came upon some walkers. There they were presumably trying to get away from it all walking the hills out amongst the peace and quiet of nature and what should happen? Up there of all places. They had to stop and stand to one side as a couple of Land Rovers roared and rattled by with the occupants happily waving at them.
No wonder hill walkers and off roaders often don't get on. They must have thought we were a bunch of crazies. Then again I guess we were thinking the same about them.
As the rubble turned once more into something recogniseable as a track we passed a ruined house and then entered what appeared to be a tunnel of trees and hedges. Alongside the track the old stone walls were heaped in a state of disrepair and between and behind them grew the trees and bushes who's branches enclosed us but it was the colour that was so beautiful. The most luscious green that one could imagine. Everything was covered in bright green mosses. Everything. Every stone, every trunk, every bough. I was tempted to demand that we stop and take photos but we were soon driving on and I wasn't too sure who else would share my enthusiasm for moss.
We soon stopped at a convenient point to relieve ourselves and to plot our next move since through the next gate we would be back on 'iron' roads. It was agreed that Mick would map read and Tony would lead the way past the Taf Fechan reservoir and on to the start of the next route that we were going to follow which was to be the Sarn Helen Roman road. This seemed quite reasonable to me since I supposed that having driven in the army, Mick was an expert at map reading. This turned out to be pretty much the case and we were soon delivered to a lake near an old castle, actually a featureless mound of earth, which was near where we could join the track.
It was agreed that here was a good place to stop and grab a sandwich and a coffee from our packed lunches before continuing. The sun reappeared and at the same time in the distance we were treated to the sight of light snow flurries blowing in through the valleys and onto a white sprinkled hilltop.
Suitably refreshed we pulled off the road and up onto Sarn Helen. After a brief muddy start the track joined a farm track that was in really quite good condition and safe so I asked Martin if I could see what driving the Land Rover was like. Obviously concerned for his pride and joy he nevertheless consented and I was soon sat in the drivers seat looking embarrassed after having stalled it trying to pull away. I had another go or two and eventually managed to get moving. What a vehicle! I had never before driven anything like it. Agricultural is the best adjective I can think of for the foot pedals. The steering, which gave me the biggest surprise, was not unlike that of a boat. Eventually the car would follow whichever way you had turned the steering wheel. Keeping it in a straight line was an art form as it wandered from side to side. As the ground became a little rougher I learned how if you take your feet off the pedals the diesel and low range gearbox would happily climb up a rough rock strewn slope almost effortlessly at tickover. As the ground grew rougher still I learned that Martin had had enough of being a passenger! I couldn't blame him. I really wasn't totally in control. I happily swapped back over.
As we began to climb further it became very clear that this was very much a different type of route than the one we had done earlier. It was much more steep and rocky. Again with amazing views all around and below, the photo opportunity was irresistible. I leapt out and ran along in front trying to take suitably impressive photos of extreme axle twists and the like but all the while trying to include a view of a valley or a hill or a stream as well.

Before getting back in and on our way Martin spotted a film of oil on the stream that was flowing past the Land Rover. Something was leaking a little but investigations confirmed it was nothing major. I took the opportunity to relieve myself and made a mental note never to assume that the water in mountain streams is as pure as it looks. Spotting the farm house in the valley directly below I quickly got back in the Land Rover and off we lurched and bounced. Eventually we seemed to be following the course of a small hill stream in a high broad valley, which stretched off into the distance, providing once again quite beautiful scenery most familiar to the scattering of resident sheep. Lurching and bumping along on the rocks, I suddenly saw a car some little way off to the right overtake us. Just there adjacent to the track we were following, was a proper road. Not being a proper off roading fanatic, it is times like this that make the whole thing seem a little strange to me. Why on earth were we making such heavy going of it when there was a proper road in exactly the same place? As if to agree with me the two routes soon became one and we took to the tarmac. Only a mile or so later we were turning off the road on the other side and heading off through a gate and up what appeared to be a forestry track. I couldn't help but wonder how many times Martin and Tony had been here since they seemed to know the whole area like it was home. Cresting the brow of a hill we passed a lone standing stone and headed out over the hilltop past a father and his two small children. It seemed strange that children of that tender age (they looked like toddlers) should be out hill walking so far from anywhere let alone out in such cold and windy weather at all! I dared to think of the troubles he would reap when his children reached their teens.
On and over the hilltop and at the next gate there was a crowd of people. By the time I got to the gate one of them had started to try and open it for us although he was having quite some difficulty because of the missing lower hinge. I thanked him for his efforts and took over. Having carried the gate open I stood and had a look at the crowd as the Land Rover pulled through. It appeared to be some sort of school trip or something similar judging from their age and at least one of them would remember this outing for some time to come. His shoe and sock had been removed and some first aid was being done to what was obviously a nasty blister. Wherever they were going it was a long way and that was going to hurt like hell. I shut the gate and got back into the comfort and warmth of the heated cab thinking that this off roading lark wasn't such a bad idea after all.
Martin began muttering about rivers and how it was deep last time and how I should maybe move all our stuff off the floor of the Land Rover. With increasing apprehension I looked down the track at the approaching river. We all got out to have a look and it was decided that it wasn't as bad as it could have been. It was fast flowing and at least a foot or so deep with a very steep rocky slope on the other side but it didn't look too bad. Tony went first as Martin and I prepared to take photos of any possible disaster that may have occurred. As it turned out it was very straightforward and he got through and up the slope with no real problems at all. Now it was Martin's turn. I offered to take photos if he wanted them but he thankfully declined. To get the pictures I would have had to stay on the bank as he drove across which would have meant I would have had to wade across to join them. I would have been happy to do it but was probably happier not to.
Carrying on and eventually back up on more level ground we seemed to go through lots of standing water which seemed to clean both Land Rovers off nicely. The track improved and joined some forestry tracks as it began to rain. Once again displaying his knowledge of the area Martin shouted to Tony asking if he wanted to 'go and play'. Tony agreed and off we turned at speed into an area of woodland criss crossed by gravel tracks, none of which seemed to appeal to Martin who immediately drove into a shallow river! Turning right he started driving down the river to see where it went. Tony followed but it soon became clear, much to my relief, that there was no way we could possibly drive any further. We backed out and rejoined a track before parking up next to each other for a rest, as a rainbow appeared arched above us in the sunlit rain.
A quick check of the exhaust confirmed it was loose so Martin took the opportunity to get his tools out and tighten things up. We sat and drank coffee for a while and everyone seemed to agree that since it was still early we should try and do another trail somewhere. Apparently the trouble was, finding one that was still open and passable. Eventually they decided that we would take the main roads back to the Talybont track that we had started with and do the same one in reverse, so off we set.
The country lane here was quite normal which was more than could be said for the sheep in the adjacent fields. As we drove past they all started running towards us and then ran along the fence behind us until the extent of the field prevented them from doing so. Sheep in two or three fields acted in the same way. I presumed they thought we were the farmer but was a little intrigued as to what it was that the farmer did that made them so attracted toward him. I hoped it was perhaps that he fed them well on hay. Further on near a farm house a small boy was playing with a stick on his own near a barn next to the road. Just past the barn was what I assumed was his brother on his own in a field, playing with a rugby ball. I guess as a child growing up in the isolation of the countryside can be real tough especially if you don't get on with your brother.
Once again Martin seemed to know where he was and in spite of my poor map reading we were soon driving along the banks of the Taf Fechan reservoir and were almost back to the Talybont track when we were obstructed by a group of teenagers, two girls and two boys, pushing a car with its hazard warning lights flashing. As we pulled out to try and pass, one of the boys came running up asking if we could give them a tow to somewhere or another, I couldn't make out where. Martin wasn't keen and started trying to come up with reasons why we couldn't but did offer to let them make a phone call to someone for help from his mobile. Apparently that was no good because there was no one they could ring. As this went on Tony pulled out round and in front and agreed to tow them somewhere just up ahead so they would not be left in the middle of nowhere as they were at present but he couldn't take them far because we were going off road up the hill and had to meet someone up the top. A bizarre excuse but the teenagers seemed in a world of their own and didn't seem to doubt it. As Tony and Mick started attaching the towrope to the car one of the girls in the back was playing with a knife and was aimlessly sticking it into the upholstery of the seat. Then a van came down the road in the opposite direction driven quite slowly by a wild eyed man with a German Shepherd dog running alongside the drivers door. For a moment it seemed that we really had slipped into the twilight zone. Tony towed the car the short distance to the car park where it was possible to turn round but the car driver seemed unversed in how to be towed and drove up onto and over the towrope. They were temporarily unhitched and Mick single handedly manhandled the car around by pulling on the towrope so that it could be hitched back up again. It didn't seem to cross any of their minds to get out and help as Mick pulled them round. Martin said we would wait where we were while they were gone on the short tow to nearby houses where Tony felt it was ok to leave them. Within ten minutes Tony had returned and we all agreed that something was very strange about the group. The driver never spoke once, the car was untaxed and unroadworthy, they knew no one who could help them and they didn't seem to know where they wanted to go. Happy to leave that strange place we headed back up the lanes and onto the track.
This time I decided I would try and get a photo so I asked Martin to drop me off and keep going so I could get one of the green moss covered lane without a Land Rover in the middle of it.

I said I would run up behind and catch him up. On the second press of the shutter release the film was finished so that was a wasted effort. I started running up the mud covered lane to catch Martin up and was horrified when turning a bend to find that he had kept on going and kept on going! By the time I caught him up I was gasping for breath and was starting to feel the weakness in my poor old knees. To cap it all he had stopped in the middle of a puddle larger than the entire Land Rover. Thankfully as I approached he seemed to realise and inched forward so I wouldn't run the risk of drowning as well as collapsing with exhaustion. Round the next bend we were greeted with the site of Tony's Land Rover parked up, perched on the top of a large grassy bank in front of the derelict house we had passed earlier. Why there? Because he could would seem to be as reasonable an answer as any. Martin drove up the bank nearby and parked in a stream that was running down next to the house. Because he could! I climbed out carefully having to straddle the stream and went for a look at the house as we all took a break. We had passed many derelict buildings throughout the coarse of our day and I found it fascinating that people once lived and worked in these places in simpler, harder times. Having always lived in a town with all modern conveniences I find it impossible to comprehend what sort of a life such people had. This house was nothing but a ruin and yet there was still enough of the ground floor left to glimpse an imagined world. The three-foot thick walls. The old entrance porch with it's stone seating perhaps for removing mud-covered boots. The small windows and low doorway through which the shepherd's wife may have watched for her husband to return on a stormy night at lambing time. The great old fireplace that would have warmed them against the bitter chill. But there inside all covered in green moss were the remains of the burned roof timbers. That was how this house had seen its end.
We were soon back on the track and on our way with Tony leading the way back up onto the hilltop. A bit of a gap opened between us as we steadily took our time but then we could see from the clouds of steam in the distance that Tony had a problem. As we got closer it was confirmed he was stuck in the mud. No matter how much he gunned the engine and spun the wheels he wasn't going to get out of the muddy, watery hole he had driven himself into. Martin was able to reverse and find a spot where it was possible to drive out of the deep ruts that we were in and so was able to drive up past him with the intention of attaching a tow rope and pulling him on through the hole. Mick managed to climb out of the window and so was the first on the bonnet of Tony's Land Rover. Since where he had been sat inside was slowly starting to fill with muddy water I don't blame him. We got the towrope attached and the task of lots of revving, pulling, wheel spinning and splashing began. Unfortunately as Tony started to move forward the rope began to pull the hitch pin out because we had not re attached the safety pin so lots of shouting managed to call a temporary halt to the pull. Unfortunately the tow hitch was now actually under the water and was not visible so we had to get our arms into the water and sort it out by feel. The water was absolutely freezing!! Nevertheless it was soon pinned back in place and with one good strong pull and a roar of both engines Tony was out of the water. It was decided that now was a good time to leave the tracks and go around the upcoming obstacles as we had on the way down. We all soon stopped to examine a hole in the tracks we had avoided and congratulate ourselves on the wisdom of the decision. The hole was so large and the sides so steep that it seemed quite possible that somewhere at the bottom of it was an abandoned Land Rover. The day would have been a very different experience had one us stumbled into that.
We carried on and this time it was my turn to be on the side of the Land Rover that was leaning over towards the bottom of the valley with almost all of my weight resting on the door. I was most happy to soon be back amongst the sheep and on a comparatively flat piece of track. A few crows were flapping overhead and then suddenly up ahead a huge bird of prey took to the air and with one flap of its enormous wings was souring up over the fir trees and gone. There on the muddy bank ahead was the carcass of a sheep. Now I hadn't noticed it on the way through earlier but couldn't believe that it had just happened. I presumed that it had died of natural causes and the carrion was fair game for anything that wanted a peck. The prospect of sheep being plucked off the hills by some huge bird of prey was more than I could cope with. Surely that couldn't happen! Keeping one eye skyward just in case and desperately trying to remember how Alfred Hitchcock's film ended, I shut the last gate, quickly got back in the Land Rover and we were back on the road and gone. A few miles down the road at a small lay-by we stopped to say our goodbyes and then headed off back towards the motorway. At some roundabout or other Tony turned right and with a wave and a honk on the horn was gone to drop Mick off.
I felt exhausted and had little conversation on the drive back. I was aware that my throat was sore either through passive smoking of all Martins cigarettes or perhaps through trying to shout above the noise of the Land Rover as we were driving along. It seemed to have developed several different rhythms all playing in tune or several different tunes all playing in rhythm but whichever, it seemed to be rattling along quite happily, as was I, content with the day.

Thank you Martin.

If you've somewhere to go you'll want a road that'll go there,
but if you want to go nowhere then off road is best!

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