paraphernalia. We found the fudge shop eventually, and outside was a lady offering free samples. It turned out she was originally from Laindon.
Driving around the new forest this Saturday was more challenging than usual as there was at least one, probably more, cycling events. I am a walker, a cyclist and a driver and believe we can all share the road, but each has their responsibilities, for cyclists today the responsibilities that were lacking are:
- Stick to your own side of the carridgeway: driving down a narrow lane and being faced with four cyclists coming towards you (two on each side of the road) is a bit frightening, where was I supposed to go? They missed me, I'd stopped.
- If you have a child with you do not cycle off into the distance and leave him to cope. It is grossly unfair and if he makes a mistake you are not there to help.
- Riding two or three abreast is now, I believe, recommended, but it is not a good idea to start overtaking each other while cars are trying to pass you. The 'shape shifting' serpent that this presents to the driver is very difficult to assess and react to, and I can't possibly give adequate space when you pull out a fraction of a second after I start my manouver
- Learn how to look behind you without wobbling the bike and changing direction.
Then we moved on a little and pulled off the road to take a walk in the New Forest.
We had walked for about 20 minutes when Brody found a bog and jumped in. He sank in the mud, as he lifted one paw, the rest of him was sucked down a little. He finally found a footing and hauled himslef out, our chocolate labrador now blacker than a black labrador from his feet up to halfway up his rib cage. Oh the smell - we kept away from him as shook and shook himself, but the mud stayed stuck. We allowed him back in the car - what could we do? - and started our journey home. At fleet services we asked Google for a pub nearby for lunch. In the list was the Fox and Hounds. Any pub is likely to be better than a Motorway services, and this one turned out to be well worth the slight diversion. Plus we had a fly by from the Red Arrows as we were sitting by the canal waiting for our food. A really good meal, in great surroundings. I did wonder about getting Brody to swim in the canal - to wash the mud off, but he was almost dry now, and I didn't want the smell to come back.
Then it was back on the Motorway and following google maps advice we went north rather than south around the M25. A slow journey for a lot of the time.
Eventually, we arrived home, and bathed Brody ready for his operation on Monday.
A lovely holiday, the New Forest is great and Bucklers Hard is very special.