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Somehow, while trying to avoid all that nasty bank holiday Monday traffic and via an aborted trip to the expensive ruins of Kirkham Abbey (£2.50 admission to see some barely remaining heritage!) we strayed on to the North Yorkshire Moors, where the sheep and the heather roam free and people driving 4x4s refuse to give an inch on the narrow tarmaccadam excuse for a road. For a while we were the Brontes, albeit Brontes travelling in a Toyota Yaris that struggled to clamber up steep gradients. Then, when we had had our fill of our inspiring surroundings, we ended up in Whitby where we mocked the Geordies queueing up for a piece of the fish and chip action in the Magpie Fish Restaurant as we wandered past them with our bags of greasy chips. The British seaside, I declared, is past its sell-by date and the coast should be closed down. M, disagreeing, indulged in her working-class passion for the ‘grab’ machines but failed to snare herself a stuffed Looney Tunes toy before we mixed it with the angry drivers on the A64 for two hours. Highlight of the trip was M’s communication with the aforementioned wild roamin’ sheep. She ‘clacked’ her tongue as you would to a cat and the sheep baaaaaahed back. A miracle.

And now, here I am, dreading work, dreading another week, dreading a trip to Scarborough to see a new Alan Ayckbourn play (dreading filing the review overnight when I’ll really want to clamber into bed, more than anything), dreading another wasted writer’s group meeting where nothing is decided, dreading…oh, just everything.

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