It was beautiful weather when we booked the trip to Scarborough in Yorkshire. We thought it would be bracing to be by the North Sea and that it would cool us down a bit!
The morning of our departure arrived. The rain was pouring down over the whole of the south of England. So we set off in a storm of slashing rain and high winds and it was also decidedly chilly. What a way to start a coach trip!
We had to change coaches at a large coach station, where it was still pouring with rain.
The driver had locked our cases inside the luggage compartment at the side of the vehicle, which was beneath the seating area. He told us to come back and collect them in half an hour, as our new coach had not come in yet.
We went for a cuppa and returned just before the coach was to be opened up and noticed a lady by herself looking very distressed. She was wanting to board that coach and she badly needed the loo, but as she was disabled, she could not take her case with her on the long trek to the loos. I suggested that as we needed to take our cases off the coach that we would be able to put hers on at the same time. So off she trundled with her sticks. My good deed for the day!
However, jobs-worth driver had other ideas! "I'm not putting anything on," He said, "Just taking things off." I asked him if he would keep an eye out for the lady's case as we were going to be late for ours if we had to wait for lady to return. Very reluctantly he agreed.
By now we were soaking!
Our new driver was a Scottish man, named Jock, who told us optimistically that it would be lovely weather north of Birmingham,
As I looked at the passing scenery from the coach window, several posts started to take form in my head! I had a notebook so started to write down notes.
We pulled up at a large Service Station somewhere around Birmingham. This is the territory of Swearing Mother and I wondered whether she was sitting next to me as I supped my tea in the restaurant. I would never know if she was, nor would she know me!
Suddenly, POW! The lights went off! We had suffered a power cut! Luckily we'd had our tea but others would not be so lucky as all machinery was dead. Tills were stuck!
We had to get to the toilets which were upstairs. The tiny emergency lights had started up as the generator kicked in and we were just able to see the way to the escalators that had stopped.
Upstairs the tiny lights led us to the toilet area but it was like going into a black hole. I had to check what kind of lock it was as once the door had shut I was practically blind. No way of seeing if conditions inside were clean. I was thinking of Expatmum by now as she likes a good toilet yarn! Armed with tissues, I decided not to risk the seat, but to squat and my poor thighs wobbled with the strain. No way to check if I'd left the seat clean, nor would the electronically powered flush work. I was pleased that there was hot water but the soap dispensers were not working for some reason, neither were the hand dryers. I fumbled my way out and wondered how Harry was faring in the gents. I hoped he would be able to aim straight in the dark and wished I'd packed more pairs of trousers, in case he hadn't. However, he came out laughing and his trousers looked OK, his hands were covered in soap as there was no water as there was only an electronically powered spray in the gents.
We got back to the coach and the experience had really broken the ice! Everyone was joking about the blackout and the fact that there were still coaches arriving at the Service Station, passengers little realizing that they were not allowed in anymore and there were staff at the doors to prevent anyone going in. We wondered what the poor passengers would do with full bladders and growling stomachs. Best not to think of it.
We got really friendly with two other couples through that little fiasco!
As we arrived in Scarborough, the weather had dried out just as Jock had predicted.
Things looked promising.
The holiday had just begun!