July 30th 2016
Today I’ve come north, the furthest north I’ve been in probably ten years. I’m in Rotherham, in deep Yorkshire (probably)
My last time this far north of the M4 was when I went to Scotland with my Dad in his lorry in the early 2000s. We travelled up through the Scottish border and stayed overnight in a McDonalds car park. The only thing I really remember about that trip was the car park. It was completely empty in the dark of Scottish midnight, so my Dad had an idea.
He operated the pedals as I worked the steering wheel and together we drove his 17.5 tonne 10 wheel six axel articulated lorry around an abandoned parking lot.
I always loved road trips with my dad in his Scania. We’d play car games, battle to see who could find a car of each colour of the rainbow first. Or a license plate of each letter of the alphabet. He’d set me maths challenges to complete, because usually if I was with him it meant I’d bunked off school because I was ill and had to go to work with him.
Occasionally I faked illness so I could go in the lorry anyway. I remember one time I pretended to be ill, and mum said I could skip school and go to work with Dad. I’d passed her test convincingly enough, but I made sure to keep the charade up with Dad too. We walked to where he parked his lorry, behind Somerfield up the road, and as I was getting in the lorry I faked a few coughs to highlight the authenticity of my illness.
“You don’t have to pretend anymore,” Dad said. “You’re already here.”
He knew that I wasn’t ill. I just wanted to be with him in his lorry, playing games, and travelling the country.
That’s one of my favourite childhood memories and being up north reminded me of it. So i thought I’d share it.
Until tomorrow, you don’t have to pretend anymore.