Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (15) Art and Loneliness (Part 03)
When June came around Sally loaded her luggage and her painting equipment into her little car, returning briefly to lock the house, before getting into the car and setting off right on time from her home in Abbeyvale, not that she was on the clock, she had no particular place to get to and no set time to get there.
Sally was feeling very excited as she set off on that Monday morning in June.
She didn’t want to book her accommodation in advance as she didn’t want to be too tied to dates, times and locations.
So she only had the very loosest of itineraries, she had lots of places on her list of possible bases and local attractions she might like to see.
Although in truth she chose most of the places she wanted to see and then looked for places she might stay in proximity to the place of interest, but she didn’t want to get too hung up on where and when.
If she didn’t get to see places this time around it didn’t really matter as this was not the last holiday she was going to take.
Sally was determined to avoid the motorways so didn’t use the Pepperstock Express Way opting instead to drive through the Finchbottom Vale, so at the end of the first day she hadn’t got as far as she thought she would and hadn’t even got anywhere near even the most southerly place on her itinerary.
So she decided to stop at the first place she liked the sound of, which is how she came to take the road to the village of Sharping St Mary which was only a few miles from Purplemere.
As she drove through the quaint village with its neat cottages Sally kept her eyes peeled for a B&B and it wasn’t long before she spied the Coachman’s Arms Hotel.
“That will do nicely” she said to herself
The next morning she settled her bill at the Hotel, said goodbye and loaded her bag into the boot of the car and set off on day two of her sojourn.
Sally liked Sharping St Mary, it was quaint, she had toyed with the idea of staying on for a day or two but in the end decided she would push on, but made a mental note to stop there again, on the way back maybe.
When she left the Hotel she didn’t drive out the way she had driven in the night before and headed in the opposite direction, wondering where that might lead.
She passed the General Store and a small parade of shops, another Pub and a garage, then a row of cottages and the Church before she crossed the stone bridge over the river and out into the country.
It was pretty countryside bathed in the June sunshine, but she only managed another mile or so before her little car started making unfamiliar noises.
“That’s not good” she said just before there was a loud clunk and she lost power then the car slowed down to a stop.
“That’s definitely not good”
She tried to restart the engine but to no avail.
“Now what?” she said to herself
She didn’t have any kind of breakdown cover, after all she never went anywhere.
It was, she had to admit, an oversight on her part not to have joined the AA, Green Flag or RAC if only in the short term as she was on a month long touring holiday.
“Well at least I’m not far from civilization” she thought to herself.