Through the outer reaches of Blackpool - a town that goes on and on, belching out more and more Tudor-bethan semis and endless roundabouts until, finally, you reach the M6 and all its outlying towns. Burnley, Preston, Chorley, Blackburn, Wigan. Wigan Pier! I went and got stuck into a bit of Orwell nostalgia - and the rain came down to assist in the scene setting.
Onto Manchester and through to Wilmslow, Knutsford, Alderley Edge: prime WAG territory and not disappointing on the bottle blonde/CD shades/jeans and Jimmy Choos count.
And then I went to Staffordshire. It was supposed to be an innocent stop-off in a B&B while I gathered my thoughts. I was met by a very jolly, rosy cheeked lady. All I did was mention my growing interest in the thought process of bovine life when she pushed me into the cloakroom, put me into some overalls, got me some wellies, wrapped a great, vinyl apron round me and drove me over the field to her husband.
There he was milking the cows, down in this deep, dark, clanging pit. Overhead a loud, ominous clunk sounded, signalling the twice daily routine of milk pumping from resigned cows. I guess it's just like work to them: fairly dull and not hugely stimulating but quite a relief I'm sure once they've been relieved of those great swollen udders.
I learnt a lot about cows down there and have had some of my questions answered but he was kind of full-on, this guy. He loved to talk! Dios mio - eventually I managed to steer him towards the great bucket of bright yellow milk, colostrium, which I drank from with a mix of repulsion and glee - you could make some pretty interesting milkshakes with that stuff.