The Final Fortnight In Harlow (Week 3) & A Surprise Trip To Wales...

Updated: Jul 3, 2021

Hello and welcome to another issue of "Life In Harlow"


I'm still up here, still one piece and still enjoying myself quite a bit.


It's been almost a month since I left university and "embarked" on this impromptu "Couch Surfing Session" - her wedding day being a month to the day that I began "living" in their house (this being the day before a planned Brighton trip)


Over this past month, I've certainly got to know all four (five if you count the baby) of my "housemates" (those in the house) much, much better and it's been a really interesting insight - I think I could liken it to a "house-swap" - now for my friend to live in Surrey for a month!


I think the reason why I stayed down for so long was because of the adventures that my friend suggested - she'd ask "want to go down to Littlehampton tomorrow?" and because I had never been down to Littlehampton, I'd say "sure why not!".


That night, I'd always find myself on the same sofa - and wake up on the same one...and wait for the next day of adventure!


After returning to Harlow on the 15th, My friend's wedding was originally planned for the 17th June, but was first pushed back to the weekend (of), then pushed again the 2nd July - this then sticking. The little bit of uncertainty meaning I stayed up just incase it was "sprung upon me" (and me needed wedding clothes)


Anyway, I've rambled enough - let's get on with it!


17/06/2021 - 19/06/2021 17th June: The third(ish) set of fortnights set off very well with me receiving a text to say that I was able to get my first COVID Vaccine - being in Harlow, I don't know when/where I'd be on each day - so I held onto it until a later date.


Kiara also saw her twin sister in a car-park on this day.

18th June:


On the 18th of June, whilst Robin returned to the Land of Harlow, back online, Kabort entered the Watkins Glen 6 Hours.


Due to me being in Harlow, the classic reunion Ferrari of Robin, Maxim and Aitor was packed up and the car sat untouched.


it was also a day to forget for Yellow (D. Weber and A. Pearce) as they had a similarly tough day as they retired from both races attempted.


Whilst two didn't see the checkered flag, the other four Kabort cars saw it - and saw it in style, the Green LMP2 car (T. Van De Pol and S. Kemble) were on course to finish 5th, but crossed the line in 10th after a shunt.


The Orange (LMP2) car also did spectacularly well the All-Dutch team of J. Bouwmeester and Emmanuel Ijere finishing 5th in an LMP2.


The results kept coming and coming as the Purple 911 RSR GTE of P. Hingston (USA), D. Gahlow (GER) and D. Ryser (Swiss?) came home to score Kabort's first podium in a special event, their Porsche GTE finishing second in class behind the WPR Racing Pink Car - also a Porsche.


Lastly, but certainly not leastly was the Pink Porsche 911 RSR GTE driven by the Dutchmen of A. Egelmeers and N. Ykema


From retiring out of their first attempt, The Pink car showed the field who was boss by finishing in 1st from 18th. Plenty of Driver Of The Day nominations flooded through for the Kabort Team and Drivers.


This win has marked Kabort's first ever win in a special event - a massive, massive congratulations to them!

19/06/2021

Saturday saw me begin dating Annie once again after a 12 Day break - and I'm so glad I went back, I was welcomed back with warm arms, I think the thinking time was good and really proved how much we needed each other and missed each other.


The 20th & 21st June can be seen in this blog --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


22/06/2021


In terms of road-trips, we headed down to Cornwall to my friend's sister's house - ironically slam bang in-between my brother (further west, Falmouth) and my friend/relative (further East, Taunton). It was a good day and enjoyable trip - especially as the weather was nice and views were stunning. Following this, we'd head to an INCREDIBLY well kept secret beach and we'd all have fish/sausage and chips down by the sea (I'd eat it by the rocks, the rest of those I was with ate it in the car)

We'd return to Harlow at about 3am, before crashing out on the Sofas.


23/06/2021


The majority of the 23rd was spent relaxing up in Harlow, before I spent the evening with Annie and Evie. At first the plan was to go for a pub meal, but after complications, we settled for Pizza atop Box Hill, which was beautiful - especially given the weather!


I even crossed paths (or car-parks!) with a classic Honda NSX. Niiice. I'd spend the night at my house after not getting too much sleep following the Cornwall Trip, I'd return to Harlow the following day.


24/06/2021


On the 24th June, we returned to Surrey, first seeing a friend's relative and then a friend (of hers) before returning to Harlow in the early hours of Friday (25th).


25/06/2021 - 26/06/2021


The 25th & 26th were rather quiet days - just up, bumbling around Harlow.


Being in Harlow, I unfortunately missed a weekend of some very exciting racing at both Brands Hatch (British Touring Cars) and Silverstone (British GT) as well as an event at Hockenheim on iRacing.


Despite this, I found two other Kia Vengas parked next to one another - me parking next to them both making Harlow's - and the UK's biggest Kia Venga meet.

I also came across this lovely Urus

27/06/2021


The 27th June was slightly more "action packed" - us wanting to go to Coral Reef in Bracknell, however as you could only book online (which we hadn't), we weren't allowed in.


The next best solution would be to go to my local pool - which, judging by the reactions of those with me (my friend and those living with her), they were all pretty impressed by The Pool In The Park's facilities - slides, rapids, jacuzzi and the wave machine all being tested out by our "party".


Whilst Broke Boys At The Farm (modified car meet) happened elsewhere, as Will wasn't available (same guy as I went with last year), I didn't have too much motivation to rock up in my stock Kia Venga.


We'd also go to one other location on this day, but due to being incredibly personal, I wish not to disclose this.


McDonalds was once again the choice of meal.

28/06/2021


Overall, the 28th was a pretty quiet day...that was until we were told to go to a small town on the west coast of North Wales.


Porthmadog (Pronounced Port-Maddock) was the town of choice and with a fair old dinkum drive ahead of us, we headed to a town nearby to grab some supplies for the journey ahead.


We'd return home and work out that to arrive in Wales for Sunrise, we'd have to leave at midnight.


Due to the long drive ahead, I pretty much slept from when we returned from a little walk to shops up the road (following getting food from the supermarket) right up until midnight


Okay, there were disturbances, like noise, light, hearing my name and a midnight Pizza - but it certainly helped.


I'll admit, I'm not great at long night drives. An hour or shorter, I can perfectly do, but longer than that, I begin to get tired and try as I may, I'm not immortal and tiredness is a very real threat I need to be aware of.


Only pretty much being able to see the road ahead (as opposed to being distracted by the landscape/views/buildings etc. and having few cars to pay attention to around me does make quite the difficult combo


Leaving at midnight was a weirdly tactical move however - the hope and excitement of seeing a sunrise kept me motivated, awake and kept me driving - it's like - the sky is getting constantly lighter, and eventually it will be light enough that the natural light will keep me awake (due to naturally being awake during the day) - and as everyone would be asleep in the car, no stops for food would be needed.


29/06/2021

At 00:45, we set off with a car full of food, entertainment and tired (all but me) bodies.


Whilst the rest of the car slept through the night, I drove on - an hour turning into two, turning into more. A bit of fog accompanied me in the beginning, before clearing out to being overcast, and then clearing out further to a nice day.


Passing Wolverhampton/the exit for Wolverhampton, I try and inform the car, yet only one pair of half asleep ears hear my excitement.


At about 3 or 4 in the morning, I crossed the border into Wales - the first time I had been outside England since 2019.


It was around this time that the first glimmer of gold from the sunrise flickered behind the clouds.


Rounding a corner on a rural Welsh road, an hour or two away from Porthmadog - the gold in the sky only appears more and more visible - four words fall out of my mouth as a whisper - as the morning goes on, this only becomes more frequent and more audible "That Is F-ing Stunning" I say as the Snowdonia Mountain Range pops into view through another tight and twisty corner.

~

We'd eventually arrive at the Porthmadog Carpark at 5:55am - after stretching and lying back a bit after a long drive, breakfast was our first port of call.


Having not eaten since yesterday, I decided to buy a little food (A bacon roll & a tiffin) before going on with our day of exploring Porthmadog and taking pictures.


Upon returning to the car on one occasion, two Caterhams pulled up - a Roadsport (SV) and one slightly less powerful. On complimenting their cars, the driver/owner of the Roadsport said that I could sit in his car - I was absolutely speechless - my poor, scrawney, unemployed little ass in my dream car - a car I could only dream of sitting in - it may have only been at most 5 minutes, but it motivated me to get a job, save up and have a mid-life or end-life crisis.


Just to nip up and down the backroads in a road-legal go-kart!


Shortly following this, we'd board a steam train at the Ffestiniog Railway - a tourist attraction in Porthmadog - the views outside the window were spectacular!


The day consisted of 5 main things: Shopping, Snapping (photos), Riding (the steam train) and lots of eating! It was honestly one of the funnest/best single days out and arriving so early meant we absolutely seized the absolute hell out of the day!


The first stop-over on our long way home was a viewing area overlooking Mount Snowdonia - having last been in October 2019, when the weather wasn't great - to see the range in all its beautiful glory - during a spectacular sunset was quite the sight to see! After gazing at the incredible mountains, we continued on..on to a beautiful, hidden little Waterfall that accidently found in 2019 during the same trip with an old school mate.


Swallow Falls, albeit darker (due to being later) was still as beautiful as she was then. Unfortunately I only took the big camera my friends had and not my phone, so didn't take any photos that can be slapped immediately into the blog.


With Swallow Falls (conveniently on our route home) ticked off, we were back on the road...shortly, before I was "demanded" to pull off the dual carriageway and onto a beach.


This only continued when we found a beach whilst driving and went for a impromptu beach trip.




Following this, we had a quick meal in the local McDonalds and then hit the road.


As said before - I can't do long night drives...and a good few hours in, the tiredness and fatigue started kicking in. I won't say what happened, because I wish not to and it's far from pleasant, but I remembered those blue motorway signs "TIREDNESS KILLS, TAKE A BREAK" - so, I pulled into a nearby McDonalds.


With two people in the car with strict deadlines the following morning, I shut up and drove home - as hard as I tried, the fatigue was still there - but somehow I made it back to Harlow in one piece.


I will say that a hotel was suggested/bought up in conversation, but in the end it was declined.


With a baby/infant in the car and "the way I was driving" I pulled over for both the safety for myself and the rest in the car - but anyway, it's in the past and I'm over it - but the pulling over at a services (the action itself) isn't bad, and if I get like "that" again - I will pull over and see what the person in the car wants to do/can do in terms of overnight - I have money, and am more than willing to pay for a hotel for the night if it meant me coming home safely.


I'd arrive back at the house at 4:31am in the morning

30/06/2021

The 30th was a rather calm day, us just going up to Buntingford, the A10 being a lovely road to drive down with minimal traffic. My friend's friend took us to a little river/lake/pond which was very close to him and surprisingly beautiful. We then did a few things which shall abide by Kiara's Motto of "Whatever happens in Kiara, Stays In Kiara"


To end this day, we picked up a dog to come live with us - the specifics of which are rather complex/complicated, but our household just gained a very valuable member.


After a little bit of driving around Surrey/Staines, we'd return to Harlow to give him a late night walk...the first of quite a few - on the very first, one could describe me as "scared shitless", but the more I went on, the more I knew I was in safe hands

After a half an hour (or so) Walk, we'd return to the car, get in and start driving. After pulling out of the second junction, a large 4X4 came baring down on the car from behind - Usually, If I'd cut someone up, they'd get mildly annoyed, let me know their displeasance, and then back off, or I'd speed up and build a gap...but this car was different...he only got closer and closer.


I thought I was going to be rear ended, or the driver may have been drunk - so I pulled into the bus lane to let him past, but he didn't at first before lurching forward and essentially "blocked us in" at the front - I didn't like the situation and quickly pulled into a side-road..the other car dissapearing off into the night.


At first I thought it was a Jeep (Wrangler or the sort) - but it turned out to be a Land/Range Rover - not that it matters.


The household have confident presumptions about what the "encounter" could have been about (these blogs being on the internet, so I won't disclose) - but we'd un-shit ourselves, continue on have food, drop my friend's friend off and return to Harlow.

Not quite as useful as a dashcam, but you can see the order of events - me pulling out, then getting pulled over

That concludes this blog - I've finally been told when the wedding is, so only a few more days in July and then the day I've been waiting for will have arrived!


Catch you for that one!



0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

This summer is set to be a very exciting month for those living in the West Midlands and across England – events being held for adults and children of all ages. In light of the Queen’s upcoming Platin

A blank page sits before me, my fingers poised, my mind racing... It's been 602 days since I wrote my very first blog...and finally I've been able to pin-point the exact reason I blog. ~ Sunday 20th S