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October 10, 2004

To the Spanker Boy Wonder.


After a hectic couple of days spent looking for someone to move into our room, quitting our jobs and saying good-bye to our friends (more drinking, will it ever stop?), we pack our bags and hit the road. We bum a lift from our friend Lil who's driving to Scotland and offers to drop us off on the way (thanks Lil!!) and meet John and Sue, the owners of the Spanker (Tuesday night is spanking night) who will be our hosts (and bosses) for the next 2 months. At least that was the way it was supposed to go.

After a week we got a call about a job building a boat on a tropical island (Kirribus), it meant cutting our trip short (or at the very least condensing it) but it did open up other possibilities. The lure of 28 degrees every day and a unique cultural experience, coupled with the fact that there was a very real chance that this island wouldn't be there in a couple of years (it's only a couple of metres above sea level) was proving irresistible. Another plus was less time travelling meant we didn't need to keep working to sustain the rest of the trip, so we told John and Sue who took it pretty well. They asked us to stay until a couple of staff came back from holidays and we agreed, happy for the time to reorganise ourselves (and the extra money wouldn't go astray either). The Spanker was home to a good selection of English beers including a few "Real Ales", you know, the ones that you pull by hand with the lever thingy (think flat and warm). They take some getting used to, but beer is an acquired taste anyway and I didn't have much else to do so I had the time to acquire it. The Spanker also had real food, not easy to find these days and people would drive for miles to come for a carvery dinner on Sunday, in fact if you hadn't booked your table by Thursday then you were too late. So we were kept pretty busy, which is probably just as well because we had no transport and Nether Heage was only a little country village, one of those places with a pub, a corner shop (that doubles as a post office) and a great big flippin' windmill. What it lacked in size it made up for in charm. It was like stepping back 30 or so years to a time where people tipped their hats and said "you awright Bill?" and "I op me duc" to each other on the street. A place where people had time to chat to each other and a trip down to the shop to get milk could take an hour or so. The sort of place people go to retire, and peaceful and quiet as it was we both got the feeling that perhaps we weren't quite ready for life at this pace.

Posted by Zach & Emily on October 10, 2004 09:07 PM
Category: The U.K

Loved your photos and stories of Old Blighty. The village looks so twee. Keep in touch - Mother

Posted by: M & D on October 11, 2004 10:17 PM
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