Monday, 30 November 2015
Travels to Tarbert
Now this is a sign you don't want to be standing staring at at 18.52 on s Friday night. It's the sign at Portavadia harbour telling me that the ferry to Tarbert, a short 10 minute journey, has just gone, and there won't be another till tomorrow.
Good old Sat Nav. This is just one of the hiccups I've had using my new Garmin Sat Nav (I say new, I got it last Christmas). One of the differences it has from its predecessor Tom Tom is that Tom Tom used to give you a choice about ferries and toll roads. You could ask it to warn you if there were those obstacles coming, and then it would give you the choice, right at the start of the journey. Take the ferry route or not? Obviously for my journey a couple of weeks ago to the Isle of Wight I'd have ticked Yes for the ferry. But on Friday afternoon's journey, having picked up my hire car from Glasgow airport at a little after 4.30, I would have opted otherwise.
However it wasn't until I got to Gourock, passing through Greenock and Port Glasgow which were of course familiar from my classes there back in August, that I realised I was taken a route more like the crow flies. If the crow takes a ferry that costs 16 quid, that is. Still, a pleasant ferry hop to Dunoon - the first time I've done that journey since an ill-remembered excursion with Gran and a coach-load of screeching pensioners back when I was 12 years old - and I was en route to Tarbert. There was, as we've seen, one more ferry to come. And, once I'd missed it, there was an additional 2 and a half hours suddenly added onto my journey. So instead of getting there at 7pm, I got there at 9.30. Hey ho, I do organise these trips all by myself.
And then I did a couple of Comic Art Masterclasses which were, of course, texbook examples of me doing what I do and the kids enjoying it. Although the travel ate a little bit more into my expenses than most trips, it's always worth it to reach far flung corners. And it was quite fun to drive home through falling and settling snow, which you don't get so much of back home.
Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video here.