The first task for me was to meet up with fellow Ladykillers, Zoe Sharp and Lesley Horton, prior to our joint event in Meltham. And that was easier said than done. Our SatNav works to the millimetre anywhere south of the Humber estuary, but doesn't like Yorkshire at all.
Everything was going well as far as Huddersfield town centre where the road layout must have changed. Having been directed into an oddly curved side street, I felt a reluctance to follow the instruction to 'turn left' up and over the brow of a hill. I listen to my instincts. I'm a writer. And what a good thing. A moment later, two lanes of cars poured over the brow showing clearly this was a one way street - and a busy one - in the other direction. I turned back and took a random main road until the little arrow (and my nerves) had settled down enough to take me on a safe route through the town.
My next moment of distrust was when I found myself heading "for 2 miles" up Halifax Road because I was fairly sure it ought to be Huddersfield Road, but still it seemed roughly the right direction so I sailed along up a hill to a big roundabout where I was to "take the 5th exit" which proved to be back the way I'd come so I thought perhaps there would be an immediate left turn that had necessitated doing a full loop of the roundabout. Not a bit of it. I was urged to go back down Halifax Road "for 2 miles". I was in a SatNav loop.
I stopped and reprogrammed it with a more generic Meltham address which took me back down Halifax Road, across to Huddersfield Road and on up to Meltham where it stopped me a mile or so short of my destination. From there it took only three phone calls to Zoe, two enquiries from passers-by and a posse sent out to search for me and I'd arrived.
The Carlisle Institute is an imposing building with high-ceilinged rooms, in demand for all types of events.
For our event there had been a ticket mix up, the message had gone out that tickets were sold out before they were, which kept the numbers below capacity. But that didn't matter. It was a lively event with a well-engaged audience who kept the question and answer session going well beyond the appointed time.
I was given a wonderful cup of tea in a usefully sized mug. For someone who has just spent a week at a conference in Slovenia desperate for a Yorkshire cuppa that was a real treat. In fairness, I should add that lack of 'proper' tea was the only downside to Slovenian catering which was otherwise outstanding.
And so on to Slaithewaite...