My journey began at Bangor station. In comparison with Germany’s wondrously efficient rail system, Bangor station evidently didn’t deserve chairs or a working lift. To add to the effect, even though I don’t smoke, I think my lung capacity will shrink today as a result of the train exhaust fumes being puffed out on to the platform.
Two-thirds through my rail journey and everything is pleasant. The crowds got on at Wrexham, and got off at Shrewsbury. The driver is a pleasant chatty guy, no script to his announcements. Just… Er… Yeah, there’ll be a jolt when the new carriages join on, were running ahead of time.
A guy got on at Rhyl, and leaned across the passenger to blow his wife kisses. Two hours later, and they’re now best buddies.
Compared with Germany, rail travel is worse than the road. You get the feel that they were built during the Victorian days and not modernised since, which is probably because they weren’t. So it’s far from perfect, but it’s novel and sweet to experience.
12.51 – Saturday
So I arrived in Birmingham. Headed out if the station and had a look in a few of the shops. I explored before going to meet those who I was visiting. In croasing the Bullring outdoor Market, I was accosted by a man who declared himself homeless. He asked me to buy a big issue magazine. After I politely declined he begged me for money to buy a sandwich. He was working hard not to let me go, so I decided to give him £1. A reversing lorry driver then stopped and yelled not to give this guy any money, since he’s always sniffing glue. I then found a chocolate bar in my bag, which I would rather give him than money, but he still persistently kept asking for some money. I should add at this point that when the man accosted me, I was mid phone call, and the call was still running in my pocket. Needing to get back to my business, I gave him the pound and the chocolate, knowing it can never be to my detriment regardless of what he then does with his stewardship over that money.
So the purpose of my trip, to camp with my friend as a stag party, commenced. I met new people, other friends and family of the groom to be. In not long we had a tent erect, burgers cooking, and games in motion.
In the morning, we found our logs and charcoals had been rained on, and our matches too. Yet with the help if skewers, deodorant and a gas cooker, we soon had our fire re-lit.
What a wonderful experience to share with newly made friends, to bond and enjoy time with. It adds freshness and vitality to life.
Now I am back in transit, on the Mega-bus. We are heading up the m6 motorway at 60mph. People are reading, talking, working on laptops and iPhones. And it’s pleasant to enjoy the motorway not as one driving. The mega bus is a fairly modern business idea, and a good one that actually takes the cost of long distance travel what it ought to be. As a coach, it has the ‘greyhound bus feel’, which adds novelty to the journey.
21.57 – Sunday
Now I ride into the final stage of my journey. Admittedly, I didn’t bring any snacks, and it’s late, and that all hit me upon entering the Leeds station. As we entered Leeds in the family cars via the M621, I thought about all the places Ive been this weekend, the people I’ve been with: my family and friends, and also the people I’m coming back to.
As a family, we watched the Muppets film, and had Krispy Kremes donuts afterwards. In the evening, another friend came around, and we searched for Geocaches and stood at the end of the Leeds Bradford airport to watch some low flying planes come overhead.
Today was mothering Sunday, with the special mothering Sunday sacrament meeting at Church. We visited my Grandma, and the grave of my other late Grandmother. We stopped by Hull to take my sister backto university too. We took two cars, due to the family car having sprung a diesel leak, which was exciting and interesting.
What have I learnt this weekend? 1) the railway system is fun to use, but it’s rubbish. It steals my flexibility and costs more. But 2) I’ve learnt more of the importance of people. Of planning my activities around people, not programs. Spending time with those I haven’t seen in a long time and doing quality activities is truly fulfilling.