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Home, extremely tired, not watching 'Torchwood'
It took ages to get out this morning... and the SatNav did not appear to know what it was doing (this is probably because I think I put in the wrong destination, having put a space between two words that normally have a space between them...) so Ina turned it off. We know how to get to Canterbury anyway. (Ina's parents used to live in Dover, and our Solicitors are still there.)

Anyhow, it was not until we were almost at Mount Ephraim Gardens, which Ina had marked as a nice walk for Draco-dog, that we realised that, while we had packed everything Ina needed for the con, plus the dog's water and the camera, we had not brought the dog's 'bag' with his poo-bags, treats, extending lead, wipes et al.

So we headed for the nearest town which happened to be Whitstable. We drove right to way through the centre of the town looking for parking. On the narrow streets, several large delivery trucks had stood with their I-am-parked-illegally-flashers going great guns. My nerves were shredded. Oh, and we had the police with sirens going trying to get through too.

However, we finally found a parking space near a market that was just beginning to pack up and, happily, the harbour. One of the market stalls had Draco's favourite treats and gave it to us in a plastic bag that could, if necessary, double as a poo bag. Result! Got some good photos of the harbour before the battery ran out and Ina bought a brolly which, she hoped, would stop it raining on us. Oddly, this bit of sympathetic magic worked.

Back to the car and onward round the outside of Whitstable, avoiding a fire engine and some very bad drivers. Just outside the village of Blean - not far from the campus where Diagon Alley is taking place - we pulled into the Hare and Hounds a model of a country pub, which, bless them, told us they were happy to have Draco in the public bar. Excellent beer (even if it had to be a half of one of the lighter brews) and great pub food.

I had been playing with the SatNav, and it took us right into the Visitors car park of the campus of the University of Kent at Canterbury. We explored, found the Rutherford building where Ina was staying (Rutherford - English faculty??? I didn't dare look at what was based in the Darwin building) moved the car and hauled Ina's baggage up far too many stairs.

I relied on the SatNav to get us to the M2, which it did very nicely. It also agreed with me on the quickest route home, though it rather blotted its copybook by getting confused at the Dartford crossing (no, you do not 'keep left' when you have come out of the right hand lane of the right hand tunnel!) and then, as we came over the Gallows Corner flyover, assuming that the A12 was the A127.

The traffic was hell, particularly the queues coming down onto the M25 from the A2/M2. This slip is only a few years old and was meant to solve the problems caused by the terror-inducing roundabout it replaced. Then, at Junction 29 of the M25 (onto the A127), the heavens opened, with lots of standing water on the A127 all the way to Gallows Corner.


Draco has had his walk. He and the cats have been fed. I have had a peanut butter sarnie, some chocolate, and a beer. Soon I will have to face the where-Draco-is-going-to-sleep-tonight problem. Normally he sleeps with Ina and I have the cats. Having all of them in bed with me is going to be... interesting. I don't suppose he'd sleep in his crate? Naw...

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I hope you get to sleep well and without too many squabbles.

I was on the same bit of M25 last night going the other way and that cloudburst was shocking.
Will be driving down to Diacon later for the day to meet Shiv and will hopefully look out for Ina. Sorry you won't be there to but have a good weekend with the pets.

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There are worse roads. I have twice driven across London on the so-called 'South Circular' and have sworn that I will not do so ever, ever, ever again. The first time it took us three hours, the second time four.

Just, no.

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