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An early coffee delivery from Bartholemew preceeded Jo’s arrival up the M40. First to be picked up was Cat, who was ready with her rucksack full of Haribo and Yarn, followed by a quick detour east to collect Anne. It was a good job she set off early because those road connections into deepest darkest Norfolk are treacherous. Stopping off in Swaffham, Cat was despatched for another coffee and they finally arrived at Anne’s just before 8. Anne, uncharacteristically wasn’t quite ready as she was still marbling her kitchen worktops. Apparently the stone saw was late arriving and the water coolant was playing up. Sensing her friends’ frustration (mostly Jo muttering and checking her phone every 2 seconds), Anne sighed and gave up, passing her chisel to hubby before grabbing a floppy hat, a raincoat and her Hellraiser bag. By 8.15 the three of them were back on the road to Birmingham to pick up Brum – Jo’s organisation and planning was excellent (well it was when Cat reminded her).

Next up was a complete U turn back down south when they realised they had forgotten Adele and Vicki. By 10am, they still hadn’t reached Caterham and Anne had eaten all the Haribo. Brum kept talking about googly eyes, which completely confused Jo, not helping her concentrate at all.

Having got completely lost in Colchester, the 5 had eventually arrived in Clacton just before lunchtime. Vicki had completely forgotten they were coming and answered the door in her Beetlejuice pyjamas.

A frenzied 15 minutes later while Anne, Cat, Jo, Brum and Adele played ispy in the car park (Adele won). They were ready to be on the road again. Cat couldn’t quite understand how the six of them had managed to fit in Jo’s Renault, but wasn’t about to start arguing with quantum mechanics.

Soon they were on the M11 and arguing about the best way to Liverpool, Brum assured the others that it was best to avoid Birmingham altogether and by 3pm they were in Stoke on Trent. By this time Vicki had crocheted the end of Cat’s Scarf into a kitten and Cat had knitted three socks. Adele and Anne had come up with a magnificent idea for marbled soap and Jo was convinced every pigoeon they passed was Bartholomew.

A text from Lexie at 3.15 querying where the hell they were and that she was hungry was followed by Swearah enquiring if they’d set off yet as she wanted to nip to Lidl for an angle grinder and would then catch the train to Scarborough.

Hanna, having become bored, had caught the bus to Stockport and instantly regretted it once she stepped into the bus station. There were ADG billboards everywhere. She soon distracted herself by designing the next three week’s worth of Social Media posts on her phone until the furious beeping of Cat alerted her to their presence. (Cat wasn’t driving, it was just that Jo’s car’s horn was broken, so Cat had to beep)

Quickly squeezing into the never ending back seat, Hanna had to dislodge 3 crochet hooks from under her posterior and move a soap cutter from the footwell, but they were soon on their way to Scarborough.

They passed the next 2 hours (Jo can drive really fast while keeping to the speed limit) by singing Disney songs, although Adele slept through most of the journey. Lexie was waiting by the castle with Swearah, when they arrived which wasn’t really that helpful, given the parking, but at least Swearah had got down from Durham in good time to avoid them having to negotiate Newcastle at rush hour. Deciding it was too late to head further north without sustenance, they ate fish and chips while paddling in the north sea and listening to the tranquility of the waves lapping the yellow sands and giggling when Adele fell in.

They had this nagging feeling they’d missed someone, but the back of the car was too crowded to notice and soon they were travelling up the A1, with Lexie telling them all about the fucking idiots she encountered on a day to day basis, turning Westwards at Scotch Corner, heading to the Border. Anne and Cat were soon arguing over the map before Vicki pointed out there was a Sat Nav and made them all feel daft. The one thing they could agree upon was that the search for Nessie was going to take them beyond bedtime and they were going to be lucky to make it to Lonn before then, so having reached Stirling, they all checked into Witches Craig Caravan & Camping Park for the night, unloading the tent from the previously unspotted roof box. Between the 8 of them it took 2 hours to erect. It would have been faster where it not for Jo and Lexie having fallen asleep in the car. Finally cramming into the 4 man tent, it was decided that the hunt for Nessie would resume at the reasonable hour of 10am…