A week for all things British
Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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A train trip to Birmingham and a hellish train trip back to London
Let me start with the weather, a topic that seems to appear frequently in my blog. We were warned by the country's finest weathermen and women that we should expect extreme weather conditions until the latter part of the week. Two inches of snow fell in Scotland. Rain lashed the country and the mercury dropped to around 8 degrees celsius for most of the working week
On Monday night after I'd showed my face at the gym, I jumped on the tube and then got the 266 the rest of the way home. On the short walk between the bus stop and my house, I turned off my iPod and stowed it away in my bag so as to hear any bad guys should they try to creep up behind me under the 7pm cover of dark. Panic set in when I heard dainty footsteps behind me, and turned around only to see what I first thought was a really big cat. Or a small dog. And then I realised it was a dirty little fox, which then caught up to me and ran beside me for a few paces. I walked out onto the road, afraid of being bitten by the mangy little thing, and did an old lady's "shoo, go away you pest!", and watched as sly Mr Fox ran into a front garden of a house. Phew, it was gone. Further down the road though, I encountered three young boys wielding a broom, running down the street screaming "where are you, you little c---". I presumed they were hunting foxes in the street, as you do. It was quite funny actually. I'm not sure how funny I would've thought it if I'd walked past while they were clubbing a fox with a broom end though. Foxes seem to be everywhere. Just on the weekend there was one that jumped over the fence and sauntered through the yard as I was on the phone to Mum (and given that it was Guy Fawkes night, I thought I'd make the "clever" remark "Guy Fawke off" while throwing empty cans at the fox)
I was lucky enough to have Friday off work so I got the train up to Birmingham on Thursday night to visit old mate Philo and to collect Leticia who had been under his care for the last three weeks. She needed a good feed so I took her down to the nearest KFC and fed her up with wicked wings (she calls them hot wings - apparently that's what they're called here) and poured a 400mL can of Coors Light down her neck. She passed out after that, so we were able to put her back into Phil's bag and zip it up, knowing that she'd be obedient and stay put until her tan faded and she needed some more sun.
On Friday after Phil finished work we went to see Saw 3D
We'd already planned to go straight to the pub after the movie to calm our nerves, and I'd put in a special request to return to a pub we went to last time which serves icy (literally) cold cider. It has a topping slushy ice, and it's delicious. In truth I didn't really have to make a special request to go back there, because Phil was of the same thinking. The bar has Banksy pieces on the walls that are securely attached so that fiendish drunks like me can't steal them
It was fairly safe to say that after an effort like that a sleep in would be warranted, and so after said sleep-in we headed to the local for some lunch and then on to the NEC for the motor show featuring Top Gear Live. It was a fun show, lots of laughs, lots of lights, lots of cool cars and crazy stunts. Lots of burning rubber and (pointless) scantily clad women. Lots of kids in the audience saying "wow did they really just blow up that car?" - a young chav, clearly not smart enough to work out that the sparks and flames were just part of the show and that the same car had been "blown up" 3 other times that day. Top Gear was really good though and provided us with lots of laughs, and also provided me with three more names to add to my growing list.
Number of famous people I've seen since I've been here: 6
Saturday night was fairly quiet, we tried to watch three different movies but couldn't be bothered with any of them. Even Toy Story put me to sleep. So X Factor it was. Sadly, I think I'm starting to get into that show even though it's absolute crap
Sunday was another day of rest, and a trip to KFC where I'd threatened to buy a bucket meal and devour the lot. I have undertaken to do it one day. Buy that bucket of chicken and sit there and eat until it's all gone. I have no problem with that. As long as I have a side order of chips as well. And a Pepsi Max (there has to be something low fat in there somewhere!). I think I will have to lock Leticia away though so that she doesn't get her dirty little hands in that bucket and nick the chicken. Philo washed down his KFC with a VB which we found in the off licence the night before. He reckons it wasn't all that bad. Is that saying something about him, or is that saying that the beer is actually ok? I can't decide.
Then when it came time to head home to London, I found that my train had been delayed due to signal faults or some such rubbish and I was annoyed because I'd booked the earlier train so I could get home and do some washing and stuff to prepare for the week when I got home. The trip should only take about 3 hours door to door. This time around it took almost 6 hours. Painful. So so painful.
The coming week brings with it more monotony of the work-eat-sleep variety, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.