30th August 2018. Derby, England.

We left home early this morning with the intention of meeting Gethan at his work at 11.00 a.m, unfortunately it didn’t go quite to plan.  We had planned to pack the van the night before and take our bag of clothes up in the morning, but we ended up with loads of stuff to pack and unpack in the van, then we realised we needed fuel and a gas top up!

We’d discovered a couple of days ago that our local petrol station had stopped selling gas so we needed to find somewhere on route that did still sell it.

Instead of leaving home and going straight to Derby our first stop was for fuel where a very nice man started chatting to me in the queue for the coffee machine.  When I finally got to the machine I couldn’t make head nor tail of the instructions and he explained what I needed to do, when I thanked him he said he spent far to much time using that machine.  He also kindly put a cup in the machine that he’d been using and started my second americano to make it speedier for me.  The man behind the cash desk was also very cheerful, what a great way to start our holiday.

Our next stop was for gas, we eventually found a Shell garage that sold it but Darren couldn’t get it to work. He wandered in to ask the lady at the cash desk and came out to have another go, to no avail.  After a lot of miming from the helpful lady, when she’d finished serving her other customers, she came out to help but it still refused to work.  She suggested Darren reversed round to the pump on the other side which did the job.  Of course Sod’s Law decided to kick in as we were about to leave, instead of being virtually empty as it had been when we’d arrived the forecourt was now busy and we were facing the wrong way!  Then the SAT NAV decided to have a nervous break down as we reached the exit and we had a long wait until it made its mind up to tell us which way we needed to turn when we left the petrol station!

We’d decided after our many awful motorway hold ups that we were going to avoid motorways from now on so we had a very pleasant journey using ‘A’ roads everything went well until we were almost in Derby and a wine glass bounced out of the holder and smashed on the work top but instead of stopping immediately and clearing it up we carried on driving until it fell off the worktop and shattered into even more pieces all over the floor THEN we decided to clear it up and it took ages!

Having left home at 7.00 we FINALLY arrived at The Broadway restaurant in Derby, where Gethan was waiting for us, at around 13.45!  We were concerned we wouldn’t be able to get into the car park if there were cars parked near the entrance but Gethan had checked it out as we were getting close and photographed the places he thought would be suitable to park in. He found the perfect place for the van, it fitted in nicely without taking up loads of parking spaces.

We all went into the restaurant and had a lovely time chatting and eating, Gethan had recommended that I have mushrooms in a cheese and garlic sauce with salad, it was very tasty.  I was, sadly, very excited when the coffee arrived and there were Smarties on the saucer, the most exciting thing was that there was an orange Smartie but that excitement disappeared in an instant as Gethan whipped it away and ate it!  Easy come, easy go!

After we’d finished eating we burned off a bit of energy as we walked back to Gethan’s new home and he taught us to play a couple of board games.  I’m useless at them and lost badly but they were great fun to play.

When we finished playing we traipsed back to the restaurant where Gethan works and had dinner, we were lucky to get a table, I’d forgotten it would be busy on a Friday night.

We had another nice meal and then our long day caught up with us all.  We walked part of the way back with Gethan.  After saying goodbye and reminding him to keep his phone on so we could call him in the morning we went back to our van and crashed out for the night.