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Yesterday was very exciting. 

I was taken on a trip in the car!

I had already done a GP surgery delivery on foot in the morning – two miles there, two miles back, a podcast listened on the outward journey, a nice chat with my son on the phone on the return – high achievements for a morning for me, despite a rather weepy start to the day. (Well, the weeping continued on the walk of course, as it was bitingly cold, but by this stage my heart wasn’t in it and my eyes were crying without my say-so.)

As I sat down for a bite to eat, Mr J announced that we could leave ‘anytime you like’ on our little vehicular tour. I hurried down my mini-quiche and grabbed a few bits of outdoor clothing in case we stopped anywhere. This was to be an early Valentine’s treat. He knows how I like to get out-and-about.

He proceeded to whisk me down to Epsom where he had important business to transact (a signature to obtain), and as we travelled, we passed a pleasant time commenting on the relative rurality compared to our own locale. On arrival, I was happy to gawp at the rather nice houses in this area to which I had never previously ventured (the excitement of places newly discovered! Not quite a new country but we have adjusted our expectations in Corona-time).  I was able to make small talk in his colleague’s front garden – pleasant indeed to have new company even for such a short time. I was glad of my gloves and scarf which had seemed slightly overkill in the car.

Then we were off again, winding down a few lanes and graduating back to dual-carriageways as we skirted round our home town and headed north towards … Isleworth. Yes, it dawned on me we were going to collect his motorcycle from a small business park. That would explain the pile of extra warm clothes on the back seat, concealing the crash helmet and gauntlets. Hmm. So much for romance eh? I should have guessed, really. I picked him up from this same location just last week when the bike went in for repair. Romantic it is not.

This time I was able to get a much better look as I wandered foolishly around in the freezing cold (gloves and scarf in fact NOT sufficiently warm here – further north I suppose) while a serious manly conversation was had regarding (1) the merits (or otherwise) of taking even more bits off the elderly motorcycle in order to reveal further areas in need of repair; (2) the perils and costs of motorcycling into London (and how to minimise same – top tips from the garage in fact already shared last year, but good to revisit); (3) the cold weather and how much colder it was with the workshop door open (!); (4) COVID and the government’s approach and why the chap in the garage had nothing better to do than chat to his one customer that day as a result of said approach, and – finally – (5) the bill and how sir would indeed have to venture inside the workshop to complete the transaction, so masks ahoy!

I took the opportunity to nose around for a while and discovered a row of Rolls Royces, Bentleys and Jaguars just across the way.  Even these did not really add to the romance of the location – they all seemed a bit old to me. I expect they were actually antiques and worth a fortune, but were rather wasted on me. Now, had they been trains…

As I dutifully drove home, taking care to allow the motorcycle past me at the first set of traffic lights and avoiding unseemly racing (no fun now everywhere is 20 mph limits anyway), I mused on the true romance of the trip. This may have been prompted by gazing, whilst waiting at a temporary traffic light, at some rather picturesque Thames flooding at Twickenham. I had been given an adventure and an escape from home at a time when I am almost climbing the walls with entrapment and lack of holiday planning. A kindness. Truly a romantic gesture.

Then I remembered that for our most recent wedding anniversary he took me to a small Oxfordshire industrial estate to pick up a bit for his boat. There is a pattern to this romance. 

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