One of my favourite TV series from yesteryear was Star Trek (1966-69) .
Captain Kirk always got the girl, McCoy got the laughs, Mr Spock had the eyebrow exercise, Uhura spoke to everyone through her ear appendage and Scottie engineered the rest.
When we decided to buy this house, it had not been our intention to be this far away from family.
The first journey ‘home’ from this area was at a call from Mother In Law informing us there was a problem with our stored furniture that could not wait until our completion date the following week.
The journey took over 7 hours as the route consisted mainly of ‘A’ roads, dual carriageways, several main towns and by-passes, umpteen roundabouts, traffic lights and heavy traffic.
Our reception was not exactly good, and after staying with her overnight, we sorted everything out and travelled back having made a quick visit to see my Mum.
The dog, bless her, was very good and no trouble.
The following week, we hired a van for three days to collect our furniture, leaving the car and caravan on site, and set off before dawn. It was not a good journey.
The van rattled, banged, and wheezed as it bumped along at a maximum speed of 45 mph, the dog becoming more unsettled with each mile even though she was on the bench seat between us.
We arrived around 2pm, and this time there was no offer of putting us up for the night, so we had no choice but to do the trip in one day.
It was one of the longest in my life, and probably the most unpleasant.
We loaded everything up, collected my car and left the van outside Mother In Law’s whilst we popped in to see my Mum for an hour or so. Sis made us a cup of tea, and by 8pm, we were back on the road in tandem, me following the van like the song.
I had the dog with me and she was curled up on the front seat.
We stopped in a lay-by about an hour into our journey and she was violently sick.
We had a break to give her a chance to recover somewhat then did another hour lap.
Hubby wasn’t feeling too good either now so we stopped often. The van had no power steering making his shoulders ache with the effort of keeping it straight, the constant noise had given him a headache and the juddering was upsetting his stomach.
Luckily we’d made up our flask at Mother In Law’s and bought some sandwiches for our journey, but it was after midnight and we were both tired so decided to stop at the next large lay-by and try to get some sleep. The dog was still being sick although she had nothing left to bring up. We encouraged her to drink though, and if she didn’t, splashed water over her nose and around her mouth to keep her hydrated.
Our choice of lay-by was a mistake as with HGV traffic rushing by at top speed, both vehicles rocked at each pass making all three of us feel much worse.
After a couple of hours, we gave up and resumed our journey.
We got back to the house just before ten, unloaded the furniture into one room, locked up and took the van back a day early. We then returned to the camp site, made ourselves a cup of tea and some breakfast, and crashed out for 6 hours in the caravan. Luckily, the owners were sympathetic and allowed us to stay on their site until we were settled.
Later, they offered to ‘store’ our caravan free of charge as we tried to sell it.
We slept on the floor in sleeping bags the first night in our house because we had to buy a new mattress for the bed and it had ‘to breathe’ for 24 hours before use.
It took us days to recover from the nightmare journey, and the dog has never been so ill, so it was no surprise that we didn’t visit family often.
Since then, our journey time down South has been reduced considerably (traffic and M25 permitting) as we found a better route. It is still over five hours though, plus stops for potty breaks, flexing the joints and changing drivers. We have to do it in a day, so it takes its toll, although the dog travels better in the car and it was the unfamiliarity and uncomfortable journey in the van that upset her so much.
Which brings me back to my original title, Beam Me Up.
If such technology existed, I could visit my Mum and my Brother in NZ in seconds as I am transported from home to the destination of my choice.
Whereas beaming only requires a gizmo on your wrist or in your pocket, with Skype and other good video links, you need to have ‘attachments’ at both ends .
In the case of my Mum, that ain’t gonna happen as Sis is unlikely to set it up for her to talk to me (if she uses it) and Mum has no interest in computers anyway.
It was Mum’s birthday this week. I’d love to see her more often and wish we lived closer.