Monday, April 30, 2012

17154 kms: Melbourne-Bangkok-Heathrow-Euston-Liverpool

I'm here! It has been a long year waiting for this. One holiday since July. The line between sane and insane was traversed a number of times—for this, my apologies to anyone who happened to be on the end of that. I am having a, admittedly Swedish, cider in the Crown Hotel opposite Lime Station in Liverpool. It's a carcophany of art nouveau swirliness fashioned into a building. Single men are ranged along thhe seats that ring the walll of the bar room, yelling out to each other in heavy scouser accents about Shakespeare and how his plays are really just about the human condition, i'nit? I am somewhere else, that's for sure.

I nearly didn't get here though (dramatic). At check-in they asked for the card I had used to book the ticket. Oh, I said, that expires while I am away so I haven't brought it. Here is another card in my name, my passport, the copy of the email e-ticket and my driver's licence though. No, sorry, no credit card that you bought it with, no flying today. They were one hundred percent serious. (Aside: from the boys in the pub, apparently bluetooth is named after an ancient Norwegian King.) They then proceeded to ask me if I 'intended to travel today', like there are alternative answers to that question-that-doesn't-need-to-be-asked. But in order for that to actually happen I needed to fax a copy of the card to them or get the bank, on a sunday to send a confirmation fax that the card belongs to me. Sure, both easy options. In the end, and thanks to B——, we got a scanned copy emailed (to them, cc'ed to me, they didn't recieve it, I forwarded my cc). It was not the ideal way to spend the last bit of time I had with the boy—effectively, stressed out of my brain. A bolted coffee and then I was racing through the international doors and leaving my lovely boy behind.

The rest, which takes us up to this point in the pub (mental illness medication and mobile phone plans now), is constituted by the blurriness of international air travel. Bangkok flight was relatively empty; the London completely full. Spoke a little to a lady sitting next to me on the latter flight; I think she was the slightly grumpy of the slightly deaf. Had a more animated conversation in the stupendously long queue at Immigration. (I had been warned, but it was very, very long.) The second lady was a cycling (although in groups) sex- or sept-egarian widow who lives in Martha's Vineyard and used to own a fabric and yarn store. (Oh dear, the chef's gone home and it's only the big, tall guy in there, and he can't even cook.) Only managed five movies: Tintin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (again), The Big Year, My Week with Marilyn and The Descendants. My favourite was the one no-one has heard of, including myself—The Big Year. It was a race between Jack Black, Steve Martin and that blonde guy as to who could see the most North American birds in a year. It was ace!

Now it is a waiting game for dinner and bed. I've walked about, tried two map shops already and they don't have the ones I need—eek. (Oooh, I missed the beginning of that one but it involved eating Scrabble tiles and the consequent pain at ablutions time???) The start of a solo travelling holiday takes a bit of getting used to. The pub has helped.

Good night to Liverpool, good night to you.



  1. My stress levels have soared just reading that, but if you had created the blog "1000 awesome things", that pub visit would definitely rate a mention.

  2. Well done Charlie, I really admire your intrepid spirit, I look foward to reading your next installements.