Monthly Archive: May 2015

Stratford

Clive has guaranteed me that he shall arrive with Paul before 3pm. He is right; he pulls up on the driveway at 2:57. Then the taxi arrives and we are all set. It looks like it will be mission accomplished…
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Hamilton

Things are going swimmingly, however that goes. Truth be told, I am just beginning to get a little bit smug. Despite my haphazard approach to things and my flagrant disregard for timekeeping, I have actually managed to plot my way…
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Hexham

The drive from Windermere is, if anything, even prettier than the drive to it yesterday. Heading away from the sun allows the richness of the colours to unfold before me, and despite being on a schedule as usual, I simply…
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Cartmel

I am treated to another spectacular drive on the way to the Lake District, and again Tiny struggles to cope. The A592 goes past Ullswater through the pretty villages of Glenridding and Patterdale before climbing the daunting Kirkstone Pass. There…
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Kelso

There are more shenanigans in the morning at the Best Western Kings Head, but my spirits are soon revived as the A698 up to Jedburgh is spectacular. It swoops and cambers, with sweeping bends and tight hairpins. If it formed…
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Catterick

I had forgotten, when I triumphantly proclaimed after Wincanton that the big driving was over, that I was actually hiring a car for the Scottish Swing. So this morning I have what turns out to be three and a half…
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Musselburgh

On the plane up to Edinburgh I sit next to Angus. He spots that I’m rereading Four-Iron In The Soul and we get chatting about golf. He has played all the big courses in Scotland, and I’m slightly jealous. I…
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Goodwood

As the old adage goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and at Goodwood it’s not a Good-one. The drive through the villages of Surrey and Sussex is pretty, but as soon as you get within…
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Redcar

This story is really all about how I came to be standing sockless on the streets of Newcastle in a bizarre 2am pyjama party, shivering from a raw mix of cold air and adrenaline. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
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Ripon

Barry holds court over the assembled guests sprinkled around the dining room for breakfast. His clearing of the plates turns into an elucidation on Europe, via some strange balloons in the second world war and his time on the town…
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Thirsk

As we leave the Judges Court in York we award Asia (the receptionist, not the continent) a small plastic trophy for best hotel so far in our Yorkshire swing. She seems slightly baffled by the presentation ceremony but accepts the…
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York

To say I cut it fine for the 10.30 from Kings Cross would be putting it mildly. The journey started off well, Eric arriving on time and taking me to the local station, unfortunately without my case that sat mutely…
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The Wife Again

After my last blog was published there seemed to be genuine shock amongst some of my friends. Obviously when I had previously told them that I would be feeding the boys Dominos and nuggets for 80 days they thought I…
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Bath

I am relieved to finally be free of the big stretches of time behind the wheel, but as if to rain on my post-driving parade, the Gods Of Probability do a right royal job of screwing up the trains. Two…
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Wincanton

I arrive more than two hours early for Wincanton, which is virtually unheard of in these time-pressured months. The reason is that I am meeting Richard to walk the course. This is the brave and slightly bonkers chap I met…
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Towcester

Before I started this lunacy I gathered my closest friends to tell them what I was doing. It took on the guise of an informal planning meeting as I wanted their strategic input and inspired ideas – I wanted them,…
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Ludlow

I am really looking forward to Ludlow. Not only was it nominated by Chesterfield John as his favourite course when I randomly found him completing his own quest in Taunton, but Ivan informs me that it serves a wonderful prawn…
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Haydock

I have been to Haydock Park once before as part a friend’s Stag party a long time ago. There was a punch up in the car park at the end of the day, the brouhaha apparently starting over who would…
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Chester

I share a taxi to the course with 3 lads from Liverpool University. I’m not sure they’ve been racing much before, because they have a carrier bag chinking with lager and vodka, which is unlikely to be waved through the…
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Worcester

There are so many stories from today it’s hard to know which one to choose. Indeed, they do not sit in splendid isolation, but intertwine in a variety of knotty ways which may make it difficult to separate them. You…
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Fakenham

Those of you that are still concentrating (do keep up, there will be a test at the end) may be confused as to why I’m in Fakenham when it was scheduled to be the finale to my quest. You’ll be…
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Beverley

The family and I have been watching the latest Bear Grylls diet programme ‘The Island’ where mostly slim young things get even slimmer (if not younger) on a desert island which appears really nice from a distance but actually resembles…
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Salisbury

Another day, another racecourse. Sunday is Salisbury, and it’s sunny. Friends have spotted a slightly jaded attitude recently which has prompted encouraging noises such as “you’re in the last month now!” and “it’s the home stretch”, to which I usually…
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Newmarket

There is a feeling of going back to the beginning. On the drive up to Newmarket I pass within 400 yards of the house where I was born and grew up, the garden where I learnt to ride a bike…
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Sedgefield

I’m enormously excited by the prospect of visiting Sedgefield as they are promising to take visitors ‘Around The World In One Raceday’! What better for a man going around the British racecourses in eighty days to also go around the…
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