After days and days without even looking at my camera, I used it until the battery died yesterday and it saw some wonderful and interesting things.
First to Greystoke, but I wasn't returning a lost boy, raised by apes deep in the jungle, No I was bringing drainage pipes to the owner of Barclow Hall, a magnificent looking building in its own right.
I have never seen such beauty through the windows of this truck. The mountains looked so bright and the water was just stunning. So flat and crisp , it was like watching HD.!
It was a little hazardous though because it was also teeming with civilians, obviously on their holidays and lots of them look like they have lost their skis and are walking around with just the poles.
It made my job a little harder because they have stand in the middle of the road,usually on a bend,in groups and just stare at the trucks, an innate grin on their faces as if we shouldn't be there.
The lakes delivery was a complex , made up of holiday cottages all scattered around Lake Windemereand I have to say it was magnificent.
When you looked through the building you could see the lake on the other side,lapping at the patio.
It reminded me of The boat house in Godfather, I didn't want to go swimming with the fishes like Frank so I set off to another part of the lake district,Heysham, near Morcambe.
I had collections and delivery to make still and I knew I wasn't going to get back home so I worked on getting to the M6 and finding somewhere to stop , as near to home as possible.
Lymm would be good as I had an hour left after my lost drop in Preston but the office wanted me a little nearer.
I filled up at Knutsford and that's where the first annoyance of the day occurred and started to tinge,what had been a brilliant day.
I have a small fuel tank on the Iveco and it needs filling twice a day on a long run so I decided to nip in to the BP at knutsford.
There was a long queue as usual so I had to pull up behind what I thought was next in line, I waited and waited and no one in the three trucks in front appeared.
Ten minutes passed and with a long line of trucks behind me and the exit being blocked, patience was running thin.
I hadn't seen any one fill the trucks or even appear so when one moved along it was a great relief to pull up to a pump.
Disaster. the pump is a key fuels , so even though its a BP station , I cant use that particular pump with my card, out of all those pumps I drew the blank.
With my exit blocked by an army of irate truckers I was forced to squeeze back through and join another queue at another pump.
This pump had an empty lorry parked at it for over twenty minutes and it was obvious he was taking a break while he ate BP donuts and drank BP coffee.
I was finally parked at a pump and then had to join another queue, a human one this time, just to hand my fuel card in before I could even fill up.
The new garages are now coffee shops that also provide fuel, so while your trying pay for the fuel and get on your way, the cashier will ask the person in front, "Fancy a Coffee? and before you know it, they are stood at a cappuccino machine for another ten minutes asking them if they want chocolate sprinkles..
I had been to the garage and filled up ,but were still not finished, the office reckon I can make Sandbach services, a very poor services on the M6 just outside Stoke.
I made it with 3 minutes of driving time left and pulled onto my 25 foot by 10 foot of concrete and took out the digi card.
I went in to pay for the parking and was horrified to find out they wanted £25 with a £10 food voucher or £21 without a voucher.
I opted for the one with a voucher, thinking a free meal was a bargain.
How wrong could I have been, I would of rather of not eaten than experienced what Roadcheff had to offer that night.
First impressions of the restaurant were, it was closed because I couldn't see any food. They had nothing out on show in the front and didn't even have a picture of any items they offered.
My first two choices were not available and when I say choices I use the term very lightly, I didn't even want to order anything but the lady that sold me the coupon said It would run out tomorrow and I was leaving at 4 am and wouldn't have time for breakfast so I felt compelled to at least get my moneys worth.
I finally settled on bangers and mash and was told it would be ten minutes.
It actually took 15 minutes and when it arrived, it took me all my self control to not send it back.
It actually looked like a dogs dinner, the sausages were dry and split and shriveled at the ends and the mash looked grey and flat, the gravy was swirling around it like a river of grease that looked more like pollution than food and the actual portion size wouldn't of filled a child, if it had of been edible.
Add to this the fact that this meal should of cost £9.10 with the flat sprite that accompanied ,and its no wonder that nobody else was in there.
I have been to some great service stations and some great canteens, where the food on show looks and smells incredible and people queue up to buy it, I think Roadchef need a field of dreams mentality,
Build it and they will come. Well cook it and charge a fair price and the people will buy it, but don't even bother, and why should we?
These are some of my neighbours on the M6.
This is how I spent the night in the truck.