Drive across Britain – Hamilton Park


That fitness fad was short lived:

I didn’t run this morning as the idea of getting lost in the outskirts of Glasgow was not a thought that appealed to me.   Not that I have had anything but great treatment up here but the area is far more built up and busy than I am used to, with not a lot of fresh air or wildlife to interest me and too many people to be seen by.

Yesterday I left England and Arrived in Scotland.  Wow already!DSC_0344

The most obvious place my hero is headed will be Gretna Green and I would hate to disappoint, – this plays an important part in his  journey and as you might imagine he is joined by a heroine – or will she be a nemesis…..  time will tell and you will have to read the book.  Oops I will have to write the book first.

I had a strange sense of urgency as I went round, even the air seemed to be rushed.   I could almost hear them whispering hurry up and I kept looking over my shoulder expecting someone to come hurrying in…  Who could I introduce at this point?

Now I am guessing the big shopping outlet didn’t exist in 1743  so my hero, maybe we should come up with a name, could not shop till he dropped.

I mistakenly first went into Gretna Hall who also have a blacksmith’s anvil and a kissing gate but no signs to say this was not the original blacksmith’s shed just a lot about the DSC_0407history.   It is now a licenced venue for weddings with lots of evidence to point to the perfect setting.

Although it did not look like the one I had studied on the internet and it cost nothing to go in, to a visitor attraction! It was only as I drove off looking for Glasgow that I saw my mistake and doubled back.   However the Hall may well now play an important part.  Isn’t that how research works!

DSC_0440The original blacksmith’s shed and anvil now house an exhibition of the history of why Gretna was such a popular place with English runaways.  Certainly I hope to use some of the fantastic coaches that are now housed in the exhibition and possibly a wedding dress.  Although I am not sure how couples marrying in haste had time to consider a dress or ceremony when all they needed was the certificate and bed as quickly as possible.

As luck would  have it there was a wedding taking place or that had just taken place, meaning I could go round the exhibition.    The bride, the groom and DSC_0429guests, a handful did not appear to be in the  least bit rushed, as they sat leisurely soaking up the blazing sun.

Having left the celebrations in Gretna, I drove up through Lockerbie.   I did not see much but it had been important for me to drive through there as the plane crash had affected me quite emotionally at the time and I felt I needed to go and just be there.  Then on to Hamilton, in the outskirts of Glasgow.   I have been very impressed with the motorway system and the roads in general up here in Scotland.  This may not last as I travel further north but considering my lack of idea where places are I have been able to find my way round fairly well.  My opinion of course!

IMG_0534And then; it’s funny how often you can miss a turning into such a big place as Hamilton Race Course, but on my third attempt I found the way in.

So Sexy Sporty Dad had passed through into Scotland even before I had left Penrith and came in to Hamilton, a scorching 61st in the ratings.   He is starting to look a tad tired but still able to speak in understandable terms. There is at least  less comment on how to do it next time.

He allowed himself to come out for a meal with me tonight and we met a group of 4 cyclists who had opted for a night in the hotel as a change.  A thought akin to cheating in the eyes of Sexy Sporty Dad.  Keeping them a degree further down the insanity ladder in my eyes.   I think quite a few cope with the rigorous routine in different ways.  These guys are not going for the fast timings on a daily basis but have found they can cover short bursts at a very fast pace indeed but then need a stop and a couple of pints before the next very fast pace.  Each to their own torture but I feel  if Sexy Sporty Dad tried this I might well be cashing in his insurance earlier than planned.

Today I learned to trust my instincts –  and read the instructions, especially if I have written them myself; as they will be thorough! (am I OTT? – no I haven’t learnt that about myself!)


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