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Published: August 27th 2016
The weather forecast for the last few days has been predicting hot temperatures from Wednesday but it looks like they have arrived a day early.
It looks like one of those days that is going to turn out rather sultry.
Seems like it has taken almost all of the six months of the BBA V3 for such a period of fine, warm weather. Although in essence we couldn’t have expected warm temperatures such as what is predicted when we first arrived in March.
The Skoda has to be taken back today so we needed to make sure everything that was floating around in the back seats is either packed away in a suitcase or backpack or thrown out.
Our hostess was out as we got ready to leave this most comfortable apartment so we locked the door and left the key inside. We couldn’t afford to be too delayed in getting away to Bretford to drop our gear off and then drive onto Heathrow Airport to return the car just in case there were delays on the highway somewhere en route.
Our drive took us on the A419 initially so that we skirted around the town
of Swindon and after a small holdup due to roadwork’s at an uncontrolled roundabout we joined the M4 heading east towards London.
Before we joined the M4 we had time to take in what is quite a unique sight principally in the southern part of England and that is the mobile or sometimes almost permanent looking caravans that sell fast food, tea and coffee in the car parks alongside mainly the ‘A ‘class roads. None of them seem to be connected to electricity and must have a bank of batteries or a generator somewhere providing power. They can be a boon for motorists in the UK as there is not the same number of rest areas with facilities here as there is on the continent.
Whilst the road was busy with traffic it was all moving very smoothly and there wasn’t the concentration of trucks that we found earlier in the BBA V3 as we drove the north/ south highways.
The M4 cuts through open farmland and is fairly boring from a scenic point of view and as we drove across the Berkshire Downs we spent the time looking at the horse tail clouds in the sky
for some relief from the 6 lanes of traffic. The temperature by 11am had reached 25C and was heading towards the high predicted of 30C.
As we got closer to London we had a different object to watch in the sky other than the horse tail clouds and that was the aeroplanes every minute or so either landing or taking off from Heathrow Airport.
The M4 suited us superbly as it ended just a kilometre or so from our accommodation in the southwest London suburb of Brentford.
However we were tempted to do an illegal road movement when we got stuck in very slow traffic negotiating an uncontrolled roundabout just after we exited the M4.
We have a traffic movement known to just the two of us called ‘a Tupelo ‘named because I originally performed it in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA a number of years ago. We had been travelling down a divided suburban street and needed to get to the other side but there didn’t seem to be a way to get across the low median. There was just one thing to do and that was to mount the median hoping that there was enough clearance to not rip out the undercarriage of the car we were driving at the time. There were some noises as we recollect but the car kept going and there were no oil patches left on the median or the other side of the road that we had now got ourselves to.
Then just as we were talking about doing a’ Tupelo’ lo and behold a vehicle behind us did exactly just that!
How they didn’t get collected by the relatively fast moving traffic on the other side of the road is amazing.
Then there was the sound of a siren and we decided to be patient in the queue to the roundabout.
We found our studio at the rear of a garden behind a tidy Brentford home not far from the South Ealing subway station and dropped off everything that we still had in the car including the two suitcases and backpack which will be the only things we have left to go forward with when it is time to leave London for Paris on Friday morning. Looking at the ‘stuff ‘that took up space on the studio floor as we dropped everything and headed off towards the airport to take the car back we wonder how we will get rid or pack the stuff that doesn’t fit into the already full suitcases and backpacks.
The A4 took us back to Heathrow Airport and the Europcar depot to drop off the car.
We made a mistake by not collecting our final return statement for the car as this was going to come back to haunt us a day or two later(more later).But it all seemed very simple and we trusted what occurred during the handover.
There was a courtesy bus ready to take us to the Airport itself where we joined a Piccadilly line subway train after checking out the value of one of the oyster cards that we couldn’t access online.
Travel around London with an Oyster card it so simple and all you have to do is keep it topped up.
We put our feet up for a while when we got ourselves back to the studio until the heat started to go out of the day when we walked to Morrison’s supermarket about twenty minutes away.
One of the things a bit different to home is that the supermarkets don’t always have their wine, beer and gin or vodka mixer supplies in a coolroom or under refrigeration. So the liquor is warm when you get it home and today especially we could have done with it chilled as soon as we got back to the studio with the air temperature still at 29C at 6.30pm! So there was only one thing for it and that was to put what we thought we needed to quench our thirst into the freezer box of the fridge and wait for a quarter of an hour!
For the first time on the BBA V3 we have had to have a cooling fan going at bedtime to make sleep possible because tomorrow is going to be a big day out!
PS:at last a chance to dig out a true song about summer.Enjoy Mungo Jerry with his classic In the Summertime.On Youtube as usual
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