As with all other training rides in this direction, I cannot come this way without dropping in on my Dad. Each time I do so, I am reminded why I should do it more often. When you get a snap shot of someone in care, you get no real insight into how they really are. I was hugely encouraged therefore when the staff who care for him so carefully and attentively came in to give him his breakfast. They know what he can do and are encouraging and kind. I left him having some breakfast.
The best of this visit though was that unlike the last time I saw him, he smiled when he opened his eyes to my voice.
I had not lived anywhere between here, (Saxted) and Woodbridge, so I sped through Framlingham to Tunstall and Rendlesham where I met an old school friend walking his dog. Then to Woodbridge itself where I called by an old residence before devouring all of Paul's bread bin. Good thing he's known me since I was 5. Anyway, he reminded me that after completing the journey south to Bentley, I could of course head to Cornwall, Scotland or Shropshire, all places that I have previously resided. Given that, that was never going to happen, he did remind me, however, that my house in Lowestoft should definately be on the list.
Before that though this rented house in Westerfield. I'm losing track of the mileage. I just know that I had covered 86 miles by the time I had visited the two earliest houses that we lived in as kids after moving here from Scotland in the early 70s.
One of them is possibly still my favourite house in all the world. One that we shared at various times with dogs, ferrets, a kestrel, the odd injured owl, grass snakes and two guillemots that we kept in my long-suffering mother's kitchen for 6 months after finding them oiled on the beach. The latter required weekly trips to Lowestoft of all places to get bags of fresh spratts to keep them fed until their natural oils returned and we were able to let them go.
Reminder: Live tracking of the event from 08:00 09/08/14 will be available on www.transcontinentalrace.com
I am also now on twitter @johnnymbakewell and will be keeping you up to date here whilst I'm away, so please sign up and follow me here too. I will try to upload the odd blog entry, but they take time and chances are I'll either be asleep, eating or cycling.
Finally: there's just this