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It feels like it's been a long day: Castle Fox to ex-Brother-in-Law's house and back in day. 400 miles, c8 hours driving, so as to pick up P.

Anyway, because I knew I'd be out of the house for longer than my five hour Mali-threshold, I took the hound with me; he had a good walk through the woods with P and his cousins, even if the world was just a little muddy.

Anyway, it was a long drive down, so I stopped half-way, to let Mali have a break from the Fox-Mobile. And we got to the target abode c1.30ish, just after lunch (I purposefully timed it so that I'd miss lunch there, it not being practical to join them with Mali in tow). Then we had the walk, and then P and I (and Mali) set off back to Hull.

By about 5ish, I was feeling hungry, and P opined that whilst not exactly wasting away to nothing, some sustenance would hardly go amiss. However, I didn't really want to leave Mali in the car whilst we had a meal proper, so we went for the lazy option, and a McDonalds Drive-Thru.

McDonalds doesn't have a wealth of options for vegetarians, but their Spicy Veggie Deli thingy's OK, so that's what I ordered. P had a cheeseburger. We pay at one window, and crawl forwards to Window 3, where the attendantette hands us a milkshake (correct) and a bottle of water (um, nope), which really should have been the clue.

The water was promptly changed for a fruit juice, as ordered, but when the bag of food itself was handed over, the girl was already looking behind impatiently at the queue of cars, so we set off without checking.

So it was only once underway that we realised that we had someone else's order; given that I had Mali in the boot, I didn't want to get into parking up, explaining the mix-up to the staff and waiting for a resolution, so we just made do as was.

On the positive side, though, at least it meant I had the right change for the Bridge.
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So today was spent mostly on the A1, travelling down to a mutually distant place of meeting for both my parents and myself and P. The weather's been a bit dicey of late, so I had to nose the Fox Mobile a little gingerly away from Castle Fox's immediate surroundings, the streets remaining, as mentioned a day or so back, complete sheets of glass in terms of traction-like qualities.

Nonetheless, once we were out onto roads proper, conditions improved, even if the weather did not, freezing fog hanging around us as we headed over the bridge. These days, y'see, rather than the old M62-M18-A1 route, I prefer to go over the bridge and round Lincoln. Yes, you pay the bridge toll (£2.70 now), but it's shorter, and the reduced trip distance offsets the cost, not to mention the time factor.

The downside is that the A15 to Lincoln is an evil road, with helpful signs up every now and again telling you how many people have died this year compared to last.

Anyway, P and I arrived at the appointed hostelry a little early, but M&D, having similarly worried about the impact the weather might have on logistics, had set off even earlier, so were waiting. Everyone was in good humour, though (which is surprisingly rare for these things), and the parental units were pleased to see P (I hadn't mentioned he'd be with me, thought it'd be a nice surprise).

Pub meal, chats about eBay (M&D are getting into selling some surplus stuff they have about the Parental Abode); to be honest, I had been fretting somewhat about their adventures with the 'Bay, but it seems my fears about them unknowningly swimming with sharks are unfounded, so I'll just leave them to it on that score.

After two hours, though, conversation was drying up quickly, and both sets of us wanted to start wending our ways back to our respective starting points, so Present Exchange and done.

Drive back was in better weather, and we made even better time - and P agreed with me that that section of the A1, where the central reservation gets wide and the road North goes up and down and left and right, at speed, feels just like Out Run (common cultural frames of reference FTW!).

Dropped P back off at the Farm from whence I'd collected him yesterday evening, and then trundled carefully back home to an empty Castle Fox - Mali's at his Happy Holiday Home for the day (because there was no chance at all of doing the whole there and back again within five hours, and I will not leave Mali alone for longer than that), so I pick him up tomorrow.

Which means that the whole present-swap operation really takes something like 36 hours all told. So I hope they all like 'em...
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After lunch with [personal profile] cynthia_black yesterday, I got back into work only for parts of my vision to start dropping out... the critical, dead-centre parts, naturally, and with such migraines, experience has taught me that all I can do is go for a forced reboot, and crawl into bed.

So I came home, walked Mali, and was in bed by 4pm. Although I got up a few times, and let Mali out into the yard for good measure, I didn't get up properly until 6.30 this morning, feeling mostly better, but still a bit woozy.

As a result, I've avoided the PC until this evening, hence the slightly odd update time for this post.

The migraine threw a few things out, actually - aside from missing an afternoon's work, I also had to postpone a vets' appointment for Mali (kennel cough vaccination - been and done this afternoon instead), and had to put off picking P up from the Farm, too :-/

I also had a plumber returning to look at a leak under the sink - the stopcock got replaced last week, and now, by the power of PFTE tape, I think I've finally reclaimed use of the undersink cupboard. Which is nice.

Anyway, because the plumber had fixed the time as 'Saturday morning', and I had a vets' appointment for Mali at 2.30pm (the only available slot I could shift to from Friday at such short notice), that meant I couldn't reliably pick P up any earlier than 5.

It snowed a little, the last couple of days - this is always bad news around the Dukeries, because the snow compacts, converts to slush, then freezes, and the roads become ice-rinks. The drive up to the Farm gets better once we're onto the main arterial routes through Hull, but once onto the winding roads past Beverley, conditions got just a little slippery once again, and I could feel the car squirming around as we pootled rather gingerly along.

Not pootling fast enough for the BMW (what else?) driver, who roared past on the return flit, though.

By the time we got back to Castle Fox, the Snow Proper started to fall - we don't get much of the stuff, so when it does fall (and, more importantly, settle), it's a Big Thing. More amusingly, Mali turns into a sort of inverse dalmatian when we're out walking in it - the flakes creating white spots on the predominantly black coat.


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