MY FIRST VISIT TO AN NHS CLINIC WAS A GOOD’N

The Brits bitterly complain about their national health service.  Most have paid a premium for private healthcare because anecdotally it’s over subscribed and underfunded.  Well news flash. Every grumpy British NHS user must do the following immediately.  Move to Shap. Do it now.  Shap has the cleanest most friendly clinic on the face of the planet.  Everyone employed there is happy and helpful.

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I limped in here asking for someone to tell me why my feet and ankles are the size of Swedish dodge balls (are there such things as Swedish dodge balls anymore).  I had people tripping over themselves to help me. The lone young lady sharing the waiting room with me after I filled out the very simple 4 question form smiled as I sat down beside her.

All of these things are unexpected but given that the tour de Britain is cycling through this little village as I write gives me even more cause to shower this place with praise.  For those of you who love to watch the French Tour you will surely recognize Team Sky and names like Mark Cavendish. Shap is on the edge of the Lakes and really the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales.

Tonight we dined at the appropriately named Shap Chippy.  The forty something lady that took our order was full of banter and clearly happy to be there.  We ordered the cod and chips. Dale had the mushy peas and I had the curry sauce as our accoutrements.  Our waitress looked after all our requests and was a good sport considering she could barely understand the foreign dialect that we speak

There was a one pound corkage tariff to bring your own beverage into this sit-in chippy ( rare these days) so Dale went over the road to the Coop and grabbed us a couple of “cans”

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Earlier back at the New Ing B&B we had been entertained by a highly educated and fluent English speaking Estonian girl who was working only her second shift in the B&B’s employ. This place is beautiful.  Tastefully  appointed and as we learned later held together with stone columns from a nearby Catholic Abbey that was smashed by Henry the VIII’s mob when he started his off shoot religion.

Not that often you can chuck out little Cliff Claven facts like that but there you go!  We have come to recognize several folks at every stop we make as they meander their way along the C2C.  Angel, Steve, Paddy and Ann have become our good mates along the way.

Back at the B&B now and relaxing before tomorrow.  Shap to Kirby Stephen. A long way but without the altitudes or stone paths.   Looking forward to it.

Cheerio!

Mark

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