The directions were clear enough. We had given our visitors from ‘over the water’ clear and explicit instructions as to how to get to our house.
Proceed through the tunnel, heading north, once through the tunnel, pay the toll – £400 by now I should think, though I haven’t been through there myself in a couple of months.
After emerging from the tunnel, follow the trail of discarded bottles and cans and fast food wrappers discarded along the side of the road.
You will know now that you are in North Tyneside.
Now drive at a snail’s pace towards the Silverlink roundabout and whenever possible take the easterly turning towards the coast.
You should then drive at a funeral speed past yet more debris, once nestled, but now heaped, amongst the weeds at the side of the roadworks.
Drivers may wonder, as I frequently do, why the opportunity isn’t taken to remove the ageing rubbish stocks at the side of the road whilst the traffic is glacially slow and the winter months reveal the extent of the problem in all its shame and dishonour.
Whilst driving as carefully as it is possible to do without slipping off into a stupor there is ample time for us locals to ponder just how long it takes for this rubbish, which is also blighting the back and front streets of every town in the borough, to drift straight into the sea, where at least we know it will be collected at some point, if not by some trawler then at least within the gills of some unfortunate sea creature.
No matter, proceed straight ahead to the seaside and head for the ‘jewel in the crown’.