What with all the excitement, I forgot to mention that Namibian – or Don Juan, to his friends – has had a ladyfriend with him for the last few days.
No, she has not been picked up as a disposable pleasure along the way; this is Janet, and they live together.
Namibian, rather generously, has been allowing her to sleep in the truck with him. Outrageous I know, and he accuses me of being a ‘tight arcs’. Even I used to shell out for a hotel when Boiler flew out for a few days on tour – admittedly a cheap one, but nonetheless the rooms were always more than six foot square.
If, as Swiss Justine once asked, you’re wondering how Namibian fits in the cabin on his own, we are now faced with a double whammy. Presumably Janet drapes herself over his stomach, colliding with the top bunk as he inhales.
Exhaling is no less calamitous: a paroxysm of coughing as air escapes might very well propel her onto the steering wheel, bouncing her from there to the gearstick, ricocheting off the handbrake and landing unceremoniously onto the foot pedals.
This is pure conjecture of course, but it explains the hounded look of a sleepless night when they emerge in the mornings. Or, as I say, he may be Don Juan. It’s a good job we’re such good pals. At least we were. Namibian? Hello?
After a magnificent sailing aboard Ulysses again, we bumble through a sunlit North Wales, oohing at the beauty of the coast here. As a diurnal animal, entirely unsuited to rock ‘n’ roll trucking, this is as good as it gets for me. It’s still working for a living, I realise, but one can’t have everything. Something is bound to go wrong…and it does.
Pulling out of Chester Services, I completely forget to fasten the milk-bottle top. You can see what’s coming can’t you? Yes, an abrupt stop at a junction soaks the cab: crosswords are ruined, travel guides despoiled. The interior carpet is now abandoned in a Manchester car park bin..