We're in the cafe at Tebay when I get the text (1).
It's from my sister Janet. "Hey - nice camera in my spare room."
I read it out to daughter number one then ask, "Did you pack the camera? Did you pack your mum's camera?"
She didn't, she admits. "I put it under the bed for tidiness." And then forgot about it. She doesn't say she didn't want to bring it in the first place. She doesn't say it was her father who insisted on packing it for our Liverpool trip. And in turn I don't say I should have checked she'd packed it for the journey home.
The question now is: do I turn around? Do I turn around, drive for an hour and a half and pick up the camera then turn round and drive another hour and a half to arrive where we are now? Which is a two-hour drive from home.
Daughter number one makes the decision. She says she wants to keep heading north. Even though she is the one who needs the camera for college. So we drive on and make it home for teatime.
J has been at work. I decide not to tell her we've left something behind. No need to start a scene just yet. She's pleased to see us, after all. Why spoil the mood? I'll just drive back down the M6 in a week or two and pick it up.
I could drive that road … well, I was going to say blindfolded but that is both a cliche and an assertion that I wouldn't want to test out in the real world. I probably wouldn't get out of our estate if I tried. I'd probably back into Juan the taxi driver, or run over the three-legged ginger tom that is having a platonic relationship through the window with one of our cats (not much you can get up to with a pane of glass between you, I suppose), or turn the wrong way, crash through the fence and end up bumping into the park behind the house.
Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is I know the M6. Janet moved to Liverpool more than a decade ago. I've been driving down to see her at least once a year ever since (2). And before that there was the year I spent driving back and forth on it to north Wales when J was studying there.
In fact I specialise in driving roads that lead out of Scotland. For at least two years while studying and then working in Scotland I'd drive down the M1 to Durham, where J was. And then at least once or twice a year for the past 30 years I've driven down the A77 to Stranraer or, since they moved it, Cairnyran, to catch the ferry to Northern Ireland. It's as if my life is a constant attempt to escape Scotland.
Don't get too excited. I always come back.
 Macaroni and chips if you must know.
 Clearly it will be twice in 2014 at least.
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