This was billed as a chance to “play on the motorway”, otherwise a gentle cruise up the new and “amazing” Puhoi to Warkworth Motorway Extension to check out the lovely new road, looking at the cutaways as we passed through the hills and remembering what a pain the old road was with the roadworks, road cones, stoppages and slips. Reaching the roundabout at Warkworth we went round the roundabout and returned the way we came. Being responsible drivers the play options were limited but some of us did take the opportunity to go around the roundabout at Warkworth more than once – does that count?

Leaving the motorway at Silverdale, we journeyed west following a route that had pot holes and slow speed limits, so the pleasure of our play time was long gone by the time we reached the Riverhead pub for lunch. We had a great lunch where the staff were welcoming and efficient and we watched the clouds open. Heading home in the rain, we reflected on the pleasure of driving for the sake of being on the road and the company of good companions.

Philippa West