Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another week in Eastern Europe....previously known as England!

Wednesday afternoon and after a relaxed morning in bed I walked into town to get the train to Birmingham and on to Redditch. It was lovely English spring lunchtime, but as I walked I found it hard to see any English people..... Everyone I passed spoke Russian, Polish or some other Eastern European language. I’m not saying that anyone I passed was a bad person, but it is really getting on my nerves, that there doesn’t seem to be any English people left in town. Maybe all the locals are at work!? I don’t know and I will say no more about it except that the same thing was apparent on the train to Birmingham.

As I said though it was a lovely day and I spent a nice hour between trains, doing a bit of shopping in the sunshine of Brum. The train to Redditch was quiet and Dan picked me up at the station as I arrived. After a big chippy dinner we walked down to The Bramley Cottage, where we had a few beers and did really badly in the pub quiz while watching England lose to Holland on TV.

On Thursday morning I had a good lie in and then walked back into Redditch town, taking in some of the sights on the way, like a particularly strange hollow church steeple and passed the cool named 'Headless Cross'. There was also a bloke on the train station with the shiniest suit I have ever seen!! Haahaa – check out the photo.

Hollow spire

Cool name

Zoom in to see a shiny suit!



 I stopped off in Birmingham on the way back to Northampton and this time spent an hour or so mellowing out in the town centre square. It was a lovely sunny day after a cool foggy start and the square was packed with workmen, shoppers and students enjoying the warm breeze and the cool fountain in the city centre.

Back on the train and I sat opposite a bloke who was the spitting image of Karl Pilkington!! I managed to get a photo before we got off the train in Northampton. Then as I walked through town there was a load of police cars in the market place, outside a Bookies, which had an alarm sounding. Outside was a group of dodgy looking men surrounded by police officers. I don’t know what had happened, but I’m sure we will find out in the next day or so. It didn’t seem to bother the cat-strangler (Bagpipe player) who was playing on the street corner though.

A normal evening of vegging out with a bit of dinner followed, with a bath and an early night later on. I was up again at 1.30am though and watched one of the best Hockey games as The Winnipeg Jets crushed their division rivals. Florida, by 7 goals to 0. It was a great game to watch and kept me up till 5am and beyond.

Is that Karl Pilkington, on the train!?

Riots in Northampton.....

...No, just something dodgy at the bookies!

When I got up on Friday I sat and chatted with Mikie and Lucy, who had come back from Germany with Gareth and had had a good week looking around in Berlin. I headed into town for an hour as I had seen a good looking laptop on the Argos website... I had a good look at it in the shop and for £300 it was a bargain. This was confirmed by the foreign dude who ended up looking over my shoulder as I checked it out at the customer services desk. I bought it and made my way back home on the bus. Friday night was a night down the pub with Mikie, Tracey, Gareth and Lucy and we had a really nice bit of scoff with a few beers.

Saturday was a quiet day until about 3pm when we decided to go down to Milton Keynes and do some shopping as well as a look around my house. The old tenants have moved out and the new one doesn’t move in until next weekend and so we took the opportunity to grab the keys from the lettings agent have a good look around the house while it was empty. I was pleasantly surprised that it had been left in a really nice clean condition with a few minor scrapes and scratches, but overall in a good condition.

Sunday was a cold wet windy day, but I had to get out for a run so after lunchtime I put on my stuff and headed out in to the cold afternoon. There was sleet falling and when I started it was cold and stinging on my face, but after 10 minutes or so I had warmed up and it turned out to be a lovely day for a jog. I did about 6 miles in the end and even passed a little lad who looked just like The Milky Bar Kid and shouted after me –‘Are you not freezing mister?’. I replied that I was, but to be honest I wasn’t at all. In the afternoon it was a case of watching a poor Man United team beat a good Spurs team 3-1, but that’s what wins championships!!

My new laptop!

At my house...

..and again

The front of the house

Monday – only 4 weeks left till I head back across the world and I had yet another good lie in. For the first time in ages I have had over 7 hours sleep 2 nights in a row, so I was feeling good. I had a little bit of admin to sort out online and so after doing that I went out for a walk, with no real place to head to. I ended up wandering down to and around Weston Favell Village and then a long way back home through the park. I was out for nearly 2 hours though and it was a lovely sunny spring afternoon and a really nice walk.

Tuesday was a pretty uneventful day apart from going out for a run. I gave myself an old army style running test – how quick could I do a mile and a half. In the army, you had 10 minutes and thirty seconds until you were aged 30, then 11 minutes till 35 and another 30 seconds at 40. I went out and ran two miles before turning around and heading back, timing myself. I did the mile and a half in 9 minutes and 52 seconds, which is about the same time I used to do when I was in my twentys. I was well chuffed with that as it’s the first time I have done the test in years.

Wednesday and I had to travel to Manchester to go up to Chris’ house before the United game on Thursday night, so after a train to Birmingham, I waited on a freezing cold afternoon, with a hint of rain and a blasting cold wind for the Megabus to take me north. The bus was really cheap, but surprisingly fast and comfortable, so I arrived in Manchester just after 4pm. Once I got to Chris’ I grabbed a chicken kebab for a bit of dinner and then went with Chris to the supermarket to get some scoff for the weekend, stopping for a couple of quiet cold pints at the Swinging Bridge pub on the way home,

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