This morning on my birthday I had the pleasure of eating breakfast at Cafe No. 6 in Corbridge and opening up a gift from Andy and Anna: the English posters from WWII (see Mark’s earlier post, “Keep Calm and Carry On”). I’m sensing a theme for our Sabbatical!
Driving the English Way
Last spring when we visited, Mark did all the driving as I tried to remain calm in the passenger’s seat. Yesterday I had my first go at staying on the left side of the road as Mark anxiously kept saying, “You’re really close to the curb, you’re really close to this side, YOU’RE REALLY CLOSE!!!” I’m proud to say that I managed just fine, even with the stick shift being on my left. A sidenote: unlike the U.S., you can parallel park any direction you want on the roads. I find this very disorienting. Ironically, I parked the right way on the street (the direction of traffic) but the car two cars in front of me were facing the opposite way–so I turned the car around because I thought I was wrong.
To say that the roads are narrow is an understatement; there’s really no margin for error. We had a fun, though at times harrowing, drive through the surrounding area today. Two-way roads which really only had room for one vehicle, “weak” bridges, and country roads which you’re not sure are actually roads or a long driveway to a farm.
It’s been great fun so far and I’m looking forward to observing the Bell Ringers at Hexham Abbey this Sunday. Stay tuned!