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The Vicar's Drawers and other adventures

As you may remember, after a memory lapse incident the vicar was left without usable drawers. Since then we have been scouring the internet for second hand drawers that would fit the bill. There have been a few false starts, where a tantalising glimpse turned to disappointment. We have been offered drawers with no lock, drawers with a lock but no key, drawers with a lock and key but the key didn’t lock the drawers (yes, we are talking office furniture, what else would it be ?!) so we had grown accustomed to disappointment. This week however a small advert offered hope. A set of under desk drawers, with lock and WORKING keys (not one but 2 keys!). Well, had we won the jackpot? The drawers were located in Malton, a 40 minute drive from us, but my other half likes a drive, and has a tendency to turn a drive out into a day out!

Just the other day he had been asked to drive a couple of gentle ladies of the parish to an appointment in York. Hubby tidied up the car in preparation and made sure there were some sweets in the glove compartment. He was so thrilled it was all I could do to stop him from donning a chauffeur’s cap and going full ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. He was driving them to a private hospital in York, and I was allowed to go along for the trip, which I happily agreed to after being assured that this particular hospital offered delicious free hot chocolate! I wonder when exactly it is in your lifetime when a trip to hospital constitutes a day out, but we had definitely reached that point, exceeded it, and embraced it! So we all donned our Sunday best (minus chauffeur’s cap) and climbed into the car. Being mindful of our precious cargo hubby drove smoothly and steadily and we reached our destination without mishap. We were early so asked the nice lady on reception where the coffee lounge was. “We don’t have one, sorry” was the disappointing reply. Well, I may have mentioned that my other half is a canny Yorkshireman, so he instantly went in to full charm offensive. He smiled at the receptionist, a smile that was intended to be disarming, but quite frankly was more than a little alarming. “Oh dear” he said “and we have come all the way from Scarborough” – making it sound like Scarborough is located just before you fall off the end of the earth.
“When we have been to your hospital in Newcastle they have a fabulous coffee machine in the waiting area, it’s a shame you don’t have them here” he purred, and smiled again. The receptionist took the bait. “Just wait a minute and I’ll see what I can do for you” she said. The ‘fabulous coffee machines” are in the patient lounges upstairs, and not in this entrance lobby which is designed to separate the real patients with appointments from the hospital ‘groupies’, who have just come along for the ride. Anyway, job done, before long we all had a free hot drink, the appointment went without a hitch, and we were climbing back into the car. The next leg of the journey took us to a fabulous fish restaurant for lunch, but we decided to forgo dessert so hubby sweet talked the waitress out of 4 free lollies instead.
It was a lovely bright sunny day and by the time we got back into the car it felt like we were on our holidays in continental Europe. In true holidaymaker style we decided our next stop would be a coffee shop off the beaten track recommended by our passengers. We were told it had ‘amazing’ cakes and chocolates, so that was enough of a recommendation for me. After a few miles we turned off the main road and made our way into the countryside, and before long saw the sign for the Farmhouse Bakery, and like one of Pavlov’s dogs I instantly felt hungry (for cake). We pulled into the gateway and were instantly overcome with the cold feeling of dread. The gate was firmly bolted. We had arrived on the day the bakery was closed! Not even my other half’s Yorkshire guile could sort this one. So off we went, nursing our disappointment and promising ourselves a visit on another day.
In an attempt to brighten up our mood again hubby decided that rather than go back on to the main road the way we came, we should go in the opposite direction, into the countryside, and find a more scenic route home. Since he was holding the steering wheel and had control of the car we had no option but to comply. We all oohed and ahh’d at the lush green fields and rolling countryside, but before long the road narrowed and a “private - no access” sign appeared. Not one to be intimidated by hand painted signs hubby ploughed on. Tarmac road gave way to potholed farm track, but still hubby wasn’t put off. “It’s okay” he reassured us “there will be a way onto the road at the other side”. I was not convinced, I was looking at the satnav screen and there were no adopted roads visible for miles! The farm track was getting narrower and more and more bumpy as we travelled through the middle of uncut wheat fields. I waited until I saw a gateway and suggested that we use it to turn and go back the way we came. “Nonsense! We will soon meet up with the road” was the response. I kept quiet as I didn’t want to alarm our passengers, but I wondered how far into the farmers fields he was planning to go in our little family car. I surreptitiously checked my phone for a signal, hoping we didn’t have to call for help. I had visions of the farmer having to rescue us with a tractor and tow rope. Just before I had chewed my fingernails to the quick, our advance was abruptly stopped by a tractor coming in the opposite direction. I heaved a sigh of relief. Not one to be outdone my hubby said “oh good, I will just go and ask the farmer how far it is before we meet the road” and he jumped out of the car, smiling and waving to the farmer. The chap must have wondered what sort of crazy townies he was up against, but then again maybe it’s a daily occurrence for him to see an elderly gentleman in a straw hat touring around his wheat fields in a little car with 3 lady passengers sucking on lollies and admiring the view. Needless to say, civilisation was not to be found in that direction, so against his better judgement hubby had to turn the car around and make his way back to the actual road. We were followed back by the farmer in his tractor - I’m not sure if that was because he was worried we would fall down a hole and need rescuing, or whether he didn’t trust my other half not to veer off into some other field. I am grateful we ran into that farmer or I’m sure we would still be driving through those fields today looking for the road to Scarborough!
Eventually we got home safely and all agreed we had a lovely day out!!

Next day we were off to Malton in search of the vicar’s drawers. Happily, they were located without incident and deposited into the vicar’s safekeeping, complete with extra key.



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