I was just about to start taking the pegs out of the awning when she came across and asked me where her stuff was. What stuff?....The stuff she'd just piled at the front of the van ready for packing, it had taken her five journeys to carry it all across. Well I hadn't seen it and there was definitely nothing in front of the van so where the heck was it? We were both totally confused, and Janet was just beginning to think that someone had somehow managed to swipe the lot when I went for a scout round and found it - she'd piled it up at the front of someone else's caravan two pitches further along!! That must have been where she was going when I'd seen her walking across the site earlier on - obviously another woolly-headed moment, but this time she couldn't blame the wine as she hadn't had any. I'd seen the occupants of the caravan going over to the shower block a while back, heaven only knows what they thought when they got back and found all that stuff piled up at the front!
Once we'd finished giggling at her 'senior moment' I managed to pack all her things in the van and between us we pulled all the pegs and the poles out of the awning, then while she took all three dogs for a final walk up the lane I folded it up, got it back in its bag and stowed it in the van. When Janet came back it only took a couple of minutes to load the dogs in the back, check round the pitch for stray tent pegs then return our toilet keys to the house and we were ready for off. While idly looking at the map book the previous day I'd sussed out that if I followed the lane to the west instead of back to the main road it would take me directly to the A1 within about two miles and I wouldn't have to go all the way back through Ashington and Morpeth - it proved to be a good way to go, and not long after leaving the camp site we were motoring south on our long drive down the A1. We had left the site a bit earlier than I'd anticipated so as I had a bit of time on my side when we passed by the outskirts of Gateshead I decided to pull off the road and have a look at the Angel of the North.
For anyone who doesn't know, the Angel of the North is a huge steel sculpture created by Anthony Gormley in 1997 and sited on a grassy knoll overlooking the A1; at 65ft high and with a wingspan of 175ft it's believed to be the world's largest angel sculpture. Leaving the A1 at the appropriate slip road took me to a wide dual carriageway and not far along was the statue, standing tall within a very pleasant grassy area and with a conveniently-placed car park just off the road. I didn't intend to be very long so we left the dogs in the van while we went to take some photos, and though the sun in the wrong direction made it impossible for me to get some shots directly from the back of it I got several good ones from the front and side.
Back on the road again I drove as far as Durham Services then pulled in for a refreshment stop and to let the dogs out for a short walk and a drink, then once we were all refreshed - the dogs with water and us with coffee and carrot cake - we set off once more. We made good time and with no delays anywhere we got back home well ahead of the early evening rush hour, and the good weather had stayed with us all the way. With the blue sky and sunshine I didn't really feel like doing any work, but later on, as I loaded dishwashers, polished desks and vacuumed floors, I consoled myself with the thought that in only four days time I would be off once more, this time to Norfolk and alone. It had been good having Janet's companionship over the weekend but I was looking forward to being back on my own again with just my two little furry friends for company.