Friday, January 27, 2012

The wrong train and not cheating at the pub quiz!!

T- 70, 10 weeks till I leave again and my first Monday back in UK.

It was really nice to wake up to an empty house and sit down for a while watching Jeremy Kyle and not going out to sight see or get a bus or train across the country. However, I had decided that today would be the day that I lose the trampy scruffy look – so I grabbed a set of hair clippers and my electric razor and spent a while trimming my hair and tidying up my stubble.

It turned out better than I could have hoped as half an hour later I had a lovely neat haircut and looked much better. It took longer than that though to clean up all the hair (There was a lot of it) and then get a shower and put my clothes through the wash.

The rest of the day was spent going through the video of me doing my own hair, frame by frame to make a daft video of it to post on the blog and on Facebook. You can see it here.....

The haircut......

In the evening Gareth and Tracey got home and we had a good chili for dinner. It was a Slimmers World Recipe – Gareth has lost an amazing 4 stone over the last year and looks much better than when I left 500 days ago. A nice mellow night followed, watching TV and just relaxing. I'm enjoying being at home and have just realised that this is the first time I haven't been outside during the day since I was hospitalised in Thailand last August.

Tuesday morning and I was sat watching TV with Tracey, who is off work today. The weather was really dark and rainy, but since I had spent the day inside yesterday, I decided that I should go out somewhere, so I put on a coat and went for a walk, to find a postbox and buy a newspaper. It was actually not too bad when I got outside and I enjoyed a nice walk up to the local newsagents and back.

Tuesday ended and Wednesday arrived, with me going away for the evening to my mate Dans place in Redditch catch up and have a night out at the local pubs Quiz night. I got a bus into town and got to the train station just as my train was about to leave the station. So I climbed aboard, sat down and was surprised to find the train going the wrong direction. Then an announcement came on the tannoy that the train I was on was actually going to London and not Birmingham! Bugar.

Luckily, the train was due to stop at Milton Keynes, just 15 minutes down the line and so I hopped off there and then waited another 15 minutes until a train was going back towards Northampton and then onwards to Birmingham, where I swapped trains to the local Redditch line, passing the Cadbury chocolate factory at Bourneville, before arriving in Redditch finally at half 5.

Dan met me at the station and we had a chippy dinner before getting down to the pub by 8, well in time for the quiz night. It was a good night out, we didn't win the quiz, but did better than we expected. The team that did win had 9 team members and I suspect they also cheated as they were always on their mobiles or nipping outside. No, bother though as we weren't bothered. It was just an excuse for a few beers. On the way home we were passing a Chinese and Dan was just going to get some supper, when the electric security blinds started to descend. Dan ran up and shouted through the rapidly closing barrier and they stopped and started to go back up, as the nice Chinese lady allowed us in to get some food and have a good chat about my time in China!

Me and Dan ready to go down the pub

In the Chinese on the way home!!

Back at Dans, it was late and so I got some sleep, waling up early in the morning, while it was still dark. I had decided to get a bus to Stratford Upon Avon and managed to get the 2nd one of the day at 7.40am, arriving in Stratford before 9. I had a really pleasant morning, wandering around the quaint town of Stratford, taking in the sights like the church where Shakespeare is buried as well as his daughters house, his own house and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre by the river, before a quick pit stop for some breakfast in a local cafe. I then had a long journey home – A bus to Redditch and a train to Birmingham, where I had a little wander around the city centre before a 2nd train which took me back to Northampton. Finally after a wander from the train station to the bus station it was another bus, this time back to Gareth and Traceys house, where I got home just before dinner!

Stratford upon Avon

RSC Stratford

Mr Johns feeding the swans

Shakespeare's old place

In Redditch waiting for the train

More of Stratford

Brum city centre -  on the way back to Northampton

The next day was a fairly quiet one. I received my printed passport application form and went down to the local post office in Tesco, where I paid £5 (Yeah - £5 – bloody hell) for some new passport photos and then queued up for 15 minutes and eventually got my new extra bug jumbo sized passport application sent away. A lazy afternoon followed by a quick nip to the shops with Gareth and Tracey. It was the first time I had noticed how quiet the shops are nowadays and also the fact that the shelves in the shops seem to be more empty than I have ever seen then, I suppose that's the recession for you!

If you are interested here is a moving version of the route around the world..................

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