We had been away for the weekend with friends Karen & John who live in Haywards Heath (South of England) and who used to live in Bath (South West of England). The journey was 330 miles almost all on motorways. We had been talking about other friends, one of whom (Ghislaine) had recently arrived in England from Hong Kong and gone to Bath for her brother’s wedding. We hadn’t yet heard from Ghislaine, but she had plans to visit us sometime in the next two weeks.
The journey back is M23, M25, M40, M6. Because we were desperately low on petrol and there are few services in the lower part of the journey, we had to come off the motorway into the countryside. We found a garage via Sat-Nav some three miles futher on when the car was running on fumes. It was two minutes to six on Sunday evening and the garage was closing. I don’t think we’d have made it to another garage.
With a full tank, we didn’t plan to stop again other than to change drivers and get a takeaway drink. Further up the motorway on the M6 we saw services with a Marks & Spencer outlet, so decided to get the takeaway and some food for when we got home. I pointed to car parking slots but Lydia ignored me in order to get that bit closer to the services entrance. We ended up just two slots away from the doors (of which there were several separate sets depending on which part of the services you wanted).
Armed with the food and coffee and ready to set off I unlocked the car. A voice screamed out our names and behind us and just getting into their car was Ghislaine, her two children and her mum, on their way back from Bath.