Expect the unexpected - it's what makes life interesting. I went to bed on Sunday night expecting to be up at 2am to drive to France.
When I took Margaret a cup of tea, she said Max had phoned at midnight. He's in the Lake District helping to supervise a Duke of Edinburgh expedition for some of his school pupils and had been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties. He was OK but needed to get back to London and wondered if I could pick him up.
Margaret had told him that we were off to France and he'd said he could get the train. I said we'd delay France for a day and texted Max to see where he was. He was actually just coming back from the hospital at 2.30am and was at a campsite in Langdale.
So instead of heading south for Dover; at 3.30am I found myself heading north for the Lakes and got there about 7.30am. Max was feeling pretty rough. We'd been down to see him the Sunday before and he was fine, but woke up the next day with a sore throat and cough. He shouldn't have tried to do the trip and had found himself struggling on the tops of Langdale Pikes so had come down and been taken to casualty.
They diagnosed pleurisy and also severe build up of stomach acid. The last place he needed to be was a cold, damp Lake District even if it did look beautiful in the early morning light. It was a long haul back to London via the M6, A14, M11 and Blackwall Tunnel, the traffic on the M6 was gridlocked for an hour, but we got back to London about 2.30pm; Inna got back from work early and I got on the road before the rush hour traffic got too bad. I was back in Thorney around 7.30pm, called P&O to re-arrange the crossing and went to bed for another 2am start.
We got to Villaret just before 6pm on Tuesday and Max had mailed to say he was feeling better. I'd driven around 1,400 miles in two days, so glad to be out of the car and looking forward to some skiing and walking in France.