My "rural rides" as Mike Barker styles them, ground to an embarrassing halt last night, when I was due to go to Low Dinsdale Parish Council for 7pm.
Stupidly, I hadn't written down a venue in my diary, but had a vague idea that it was being held in the Reading Room in Neasham. Not so, informed a man when I got there - to get to the meeting I had to cross the river, go along what we call the French road (the tree-lined avenue straight out of Secret Army) and the parish hall is beyond a farm.
I set off, but couldn't find any hall before the hamlet became open countryside. I returned home dispirited, only for Sandy to tell me brightly that she knew exactly where the parish hall is - about half-a-mile beyond where I had given up.
So one more journey out (by now it was 7.20pm) - I completely missed it the first time, and only on the way back from Girsby picked it out of the gloom - completely shut up. So either the parish councillors had given up on me and conducted their business early, or I'd got the date as well as the venue wrong too.
So this is by way of a sincere apology to the Council - I'll try and get back there for another month (if they'll have me!)