York to London

Trip Start Oct 06, 2005
Trip End Oct 04, 2006

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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

The day to leave finally arrived and so I woke early to make yet more lists of things to do and then spent the morning walking around in circles trying to do them. I rang my sister and we both had a big cry down the phone to each other in true Laybourn style! As it was a Wednesday I went to the lunch time service at St Mikes, back pack and all, and was glad to see Nina, Jo and Lisa there too. More crying followed. I spent some time with Roger Simpsom, Derek Wouldridge and Phil Smith after the service, as they wanted to pray for me before I left which was great. We went for lunch in the Belfrey Hall where we were joined by Eddy.

Eddy walked me to the train station where Lou Lou and Andy came to join in the hankie waving (thanks guys!). I kept feeling my stomach doing summersaults and knew I was close to tears...again. As the train pulled into the station I picked up my bags and headed for the carriage for the standard class ticket I had. My eyes started to fill up and I was just about to start blubbing when I looked up and saw a familiar face looking at me. "Hi Debbie. How are you? I haven't seen you in ages. Are you still working in London? Is that where youīre off to now?" It was none other than Julian Chapman, Finance Director at Norwich Union Healthcare! I was gob smacked and so said "Actually I'm about to leave for a year off to travel around the world. I'm just saying goodbye to my friends but yes Iīm going to London". At this I looked out of the door to hear Andy say "She's met someone she knows already and she hasnīt even left York yet!" I kissed them all goodbye and then jumped back on the train. I didnīt cry as I knew Julian was there and didnīt want to make a fool out of myself.

As the train pulled away Julian asked me where I was sitting and when I told him he promptly suggested I should join him in first class as he could do with some HR advice. Not wanting to be rude (and waste the opportunity of being in First Class) I gracefully accepted. He then picked up my back pack and then off we headed to our carriage. Yes thanks! It was great to catch up with Julian and update each other on the last 8 months since weīd worked together in York. I gave him some HR advice in return for a first class ticket, but only for half an hour as now I'm an independent consultant my rates have gone up! That'll teach them for not giving me a Career Break!

Julian was heading to a black tie at the Science Museum in London that evening and asked if Iīd like to be his guest. I would have loved to have gone but for two reasons I couldnīt. Firstly, what could I possibly wear from my back pack? Answer? Nowt! Secondly, I had to get to Farnborough to go out for dinner with Bev and her Dad, which Iīd been looking forward to as I haven't seen him for ages. Plus there is the small fact to consider that he has given Bev and I use of his credit card should we need it in an "emergency". It was a tough call as you can imagine but I chose Farnborough. Itīs worth noting that the last time he did that when we were travelling in America we used it to buy our Graduation ball dresses from Bloomingdales! It WAS an emergency though as there was a sale on!

At Kings Cross train station Julianīs generosity hadn't ran out and so he carried both my back packs, along with his brief case (see picture), while I carried the free newspaper I'd picked up in first class, to the taxi rank. It was most bizarre and utterly hilarious, especially as his mobile then rang in his pocket and he calmly reached into his pocket answered it and had a conversation while walking along like it was totally normal. I was laughing my head off at the sight of all of this. The final twist came as I realised he was on the phone to Sandy Wilson, my ex-boss! I hadīt realised how tough it is at the top of Norwich Union!

We got a taxi to Waterloo train station where Julian carried my bags onto my connecting train to Farborough, wished me luck and waved me off. It was so fantastic as it was so stress free. I hope this is a taste of things to come!

Bev, her Dad, brother Dom and I went out for dinner to The Swan, near where she grew up. I had Fish and Chips as it'd be the last time I'd have it for at least a year. After dinner we went home, drank some champagne and then went off to bed for an early start in the morning.

Iīm not sure my travel blog sounds much like a back packers blog yet but there's plenty of time for that thanks very much and Iīm not in any rush to rough it!
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