Sunday, 15 March 2009

On the move

Bit of a Plinky style post today, sorry to say. The inevitability of the result against sodding Chelsea has put me in a bubblegum frame of mind.

I'm travelling again this week. Only to York, but for the last time in this particular incarnation of what I laughably call my career. Scandalously (and a little underwhelmingly, I should add) I am entitled to go 1st Class when I travel on business, and I do find that my enjoyment of the journey is not particularly enhanced by the privilege, especially on this National Express route (there is some appeal to the free Linda McCartney's, egg, hash brown and spinach [!] on Dicky Branson's line up to Crewe though, I must admit) where the only 'plus' point is a copy of the Times and all the coffee you can drink.

I'm no Palin (Michael) but I do look back fondly to the time when I was at Poly and used to regularly schlep across the Pennines to Manc land in order to escape from the terrible wastes of Sunderland. There was once the carcass of a cow laid out in ceremonial fashion across the tracks somewhere near Huddersfield, and we were delayed for ages while they cleared it. I also remember dropping my wallet onto the tracks in the dead of night at Dewsbury, and the guard shining his torch down and leaping down to rescue it for me. Would that happen now, or would the health & safety considerations prevent him?

My most memorable train journey was over the Pyrennees to Spain, many years ago. We had been travelling for some time with very little money and as we chugged south out of France, I hunkered down in the seat as best I could for a couple of hours' kip. I awoke with the dawn and a view of the mountains wreathed in crystal clear sunshine. I think we got off at Irun and were overjoyed to find the buffet open, though it seemed to me as if it was 4am. I wonder what kind of welcome you'd get at border town in the UK at such an ungodly hour, but there we were served steaming hot coffee and fresh croissants, and sat in the station taking in the wonderful views and breathing in the air of Spain. Sure beats jumping on an Easy Jet from Luton.


Michael said...

What is it with Mancunians and Sunderland Poly? You're the third I've met who went there (though the other two, for their sins, are Reds). Over exposure to the works of Morrissey at a formative age? A latent streak of self-hatred?

You're right about the easyJet experience. I'd love to do a long rail journey. Always fancied the Trans-Sib.

Myeral said...

A small point, but an important one. Almost a confession, I would say.

I'm not a Mancunian, except in spirit. Which I guess means that I do (or did) like Morrissey.

A Friday night in Sunderland is a never to be forgotten experience - sadly. Let's say it wasn't my first choice of edumacational establishment. But it wasn't all bad. Just the stotties.

I always fancied the Trans-Siberian myself, but I think my back would give me gyp these days.

Chuck Waggon said...

Wait a minute, they serve Linda Mcartney's eggs on Virgin trains in the U.K?
Is that legal, and wouldn't you want something a bit more filling?

r o'star said...

Chuck, didn't you notice the comma after McCartney's? The writer doesn't specify Linda McCartney's what admittedly, but he doesn't say they served her eggs. In any case, they could be filling if you ate enough of them, and it may be legal if Linda had agreed to it pre-mortem. Though I am guessing that - as a vegetarian - she probably wouldn't have done.