The city of Nice seen from the surrounding hillside bathed in sunshine

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Prologue - Friends And Family 2017

By Ren Withnell

You create your own luck. Sort of. Kind of. In a way. If you never apply for that job then you'll never ever get that job - but - just because you applied doesn't mean you will get the job. In the same manner if you don't get out there and explore you'll never ever find that beautiful scenery - but - just because you're out there exploring doesn't mean that everywhere you go will be beautiful. If you don't talk to people while you're out there exploring then you'll never ever make a new friend - but - that doesn't mean everyone you meet will become a friend.

While Sharon and I were making camp at Makkum in The Netherlands (Urk? Is That The Sun?) we happened upon a gentleman named David from Norwich. We shared a pleasant hour or so chatting in the evening sun and drinking tea. We exchanged contact details and that was that.  

A typical dutch dyke with a large body of water to one side and flat lush green farmland on the other
Ah The Netherlands. I remember it like it was just last year.

Via the power of email we remained in contact and David invited us down to visit him at his home just north of Norwich. I'm not one to refuse the offer of free accommodation and an opportunity to explore so a cunning and devious plan started to form in my little head. I've not seen father dearest this year who lives in Worthing near Brighton. Being a genius of British geography I know that Norwich is "Daaaaan Saaaaaf" and so is Worthing. Perhaps rather than venturing "Daaaaan Saaaaaf" twice I could combine these 2 events? 

A map of the UK with the southern half marked as daaaaan saaaaaf
The definitive map of GB as defined by Ren.

Being a true Northerner venturing over The Manchester Ship Canal is something to be avoided. Firstly there's the risk that it might be "warm" and my pale skin would fry in the presence of that big yellow thing they have in the sky down there. Secondly there's the cuisine. Pies are hard to find and usually sub-standard, there's no gravy in the chip shops and I can't even look at jellied eels. Finally there's the strange language. I have been practising my Southern English but I'm a little rusty at the moment. "Alright me cock-a-nee mukker, are we goin' up the apples and pairs for a cup of chai?" 

By a combination of pure luck and willpower I confirm my plans with Dad and David. We're all set and ready to go. There's just one nagging question.

What sort of bloke invites 2 relative strangers to his house and home? He seemed perfectly intelligent, friendly, cohesive, stable, grounded and normal when we spent an evening with him is Dutchland. But...perhaps he's a psychopath that lures random wandering campers to his lair with promises of comfortable beds and trips to the coast? It is a genuine concern, seriously. 99.999% of the population are not crazy nutters but still it is worthwhile keeping your wits about you. 

I wonder too - is David sat there thinking the same. Is he worried that 2 random wandering campers are about to descend on his house and home and turn his world upside down? I know I'm sane but I'm not so sure about Sharon...

Sharon has bunny ears on her helmet and is larking around
Well would YOU let HER into your house?

Prologue - Friends And Family 2017 Ren is setting the scene for the trip to that there "daaaan saaaaf" place. He's also wondering what kind of person would ask 2 itinerant motorcyclists over for a couple of nights.
Crawling To Sleaford Ren finds it odd to be riding in sunshine on a Wednesday with Sharon. Frustratingly though the traffic puts paid to any plans of motorcycling pleasure.
Dawdling To David's It's a lazy ride through Lincolnshire and Norfolk today despite the antics of other road users. Cromer turns out to be quintessentially English.
Time With David There's no motorcycling today but fear not there's a guided tour in a classic car instead. They say variety is the spice of life.
Time With Dad The miles fly by as does the chill out time at Ren's father's place.
The Cotswolds As Sharon and Ren return home they stop in The Cotswolds. It's as pretty as the promotional pictures so what's Ren got to gripe about this time?

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