I wake up in the back room and enjoy the view of opening the curtains. I ponder why I’d decided to head out so early, and then realiseds its becuase I tend to stay in bed too long. This would get me up and out.
I put some clothes on and make the bed. Grabe my train tickets, and put a pair of boots on I havn’t worn for a very long time. So long I can’t rememebr the last time I wore them. I get a cup of tea andt
head out of the door.
Outside it is as nice a day as it looked from the bedroom window, a dine day to go out in, a fine moringing to enjoy.
I walk through the at the them moment quiet center of the town. I no longer miss my old town, this place does me well.
As I go through Cannocks Art Gallery Subway I see the vandals have been down here, and by the lloks of it throw a brick of something simliar to dsamage the tiles. You have to pnder at the mentalty of humans sometimes? The council proably couldn’t afford to do this in the first place, probably the proect went over budget and now some div has damaged it in the name of their celbraty stardom?
At the top of the stairs I’m doing well for time, I can pace myself leasurily.
Not far now as the sun blazes in the sky above.
And so we are here and I head for the northen platform.
somewhere I nroally only walk from, not to.
So this will be odd. I’ve never gon e orth on the train from here.
Normally I stand over there, but not this morning.
I take a look at the map of the town. The vandal has been here too, no doubt with a cigarette, looking tough,
I await the few minutes for which I am early and then I hear the sounds of the tracks twinging.
And sure enough the chu chu is in sight.
I get on. I can see going north bound is popular.
Next station north is Hednesford, sometime I shop here.
Then we head through Cannock Chase, a view I wasn’t complentating to see from the train for some reason.
Which then take sus past Rugelely Town,
past the coal fired power station they want to desperatly tear down, making thousands unemployed, in the belief that wind power will save the world alone.
We arrive at Rugeley Junction. At station in the middle of nowhere. A place that joins the very high speed system between the north and London bypassing Birmingham.
And there is a not so fast a train to Euston.
I check my ticket for the times. We have a while to wait for the connection. No wonder it takes so long by train.
And then a high speed train passes in one direct, whooooooosh, and then another in the the other.
And then another which comes to a grinding halt. I’m waiting for the announcement place mind the gap, but it never comes. The train just sits there oddly.
When i say oddly, it is actually waiting for the signal to change.
i look at the board,
where has my train got to?
and then a few minutes later it pulls up opposite the Virgin Express.
I get aboard and the veiw is intresting.
And then there is an annocement. A bridge ahead has been struck and we will not be moving until an engineer has checked it out. That should be in five minutes!
Erm I think, 5 minutes? Really five mninutes, that sounds a bit optimistic.
Well its not be twittered so I will ask them. And then there is an announcment, they will get to the bridge at 9:45.
And we wait whislt I ponder if I will make my connection to my high spped train at Stafford. It won’t be taking this route north so it won’t be delayed like the Virgin Express next to us.
Eventually we are moving and the Virgin Express dissapears into the distance.
As we close up on Stafford they make announcments of every change and the platforms we need to use. This is very handy.
With one minute to go I make my way to platform 5 and
In come the Cross Country Chu Chu. Its like a Virgin Express only cheaper.
There are a lot of people trying to get on the train and also on the train. Somewhere on carraige D there is a seat for me. Seat 17. Ah here it is. A true cheap seat.
Does it feel crowded on coach D. It always feels crowded on coach D. Coach D is the cheap seat coach.
Our next station is Stock On Trent, and I’m sitting next to three doctors who are on a janut to three different places from the same place, and they are talking about “their” world, in “their” language. It is certainly a different world to the one we know. They could become politicains.
We pass through Stockport and
onto Manchester Picadilly. and whilst I think my ticket is valid for all Manchester station I risk it not and gewt anther to OXford road as I know it has barriers.
Some train services make London Midlands look psotivily first class!
I get off and see the one landmark that always makes me feel at home, the Palace Hotel. I look at my map and then head on dwon Oxford road. I stop at a Tesco Local and get some breakfast snacks in thehope to get a cup of tea later.
Many steps latter I’m here.
I’m thinking Tits In Space or something very similar would be nice.
However this would prove not to be
Aparently you need to be careful of the four animals on the floor. Yes four. And there are four, use your eyes for godes sake.
And stop looking at the pictures.
Some are colourful, some are not.
Some portraite the dead, some do not.
And then there are those that portray war.
Then I’m sucked into a room, greeted
walk this way
and handed this.
If anything what I wasn’t expecting was
a film about a mule,
and there was not tits either.
So there were four films to watch and I was promised a film about a taxi ride. I didn’t find that one. I don’t know why not, there was only four arenas. I must be mad. After watching them I feel mad.
I look at the park.
I look at the broucher I was given when I came in,
And then I venture into a darkness and light
of shadows, imgeragy and listen
atmosphere. Still but moving, slow but moving, and I move away.
Whereby you know what?
I stumble on that Taxi movie, that frantic movie of a taxi ride, a ride in a taxi, just hanging there.
I’d like to say the main event was as enjoyable as Tits in Space.
But it wasn’t, don’t get me wrong it was about fabrics, patterns and wall paper, but it wasn’t the genius of Tits In Space. That remindes me, its a title of a film. An old film. Anway the person in question here, has nothing to do with Tits In Space either the film or the last exihibition of Wall paper, hung in this room.
As I head out, I see this, up a corner out of the way. It may mean nothing to anyone here. I mean its just hanging there in a corner.
Unless of course you have watched four films about mules and nothingness. It doesn’t appear in the taxi film, not a lot does. A man stares at you, staring at him. You thinking I’d rather be enjoying Tits In Space and him wishing he knew what Tits In Space was all about. And with that I got a text asking what the hell I was doing down Oxford Road. It was Alan he was in Spining Fields already. When I say already, time had flown by.
and whilst i had a postcard I had no pen. There were plenty of shops but me I entered the hub. This was a mistake. The hub was being run by someone who couldn’t ,anage a scanner and needed the manager. The manager needed a check out person who could use a scanner but didn’t hire such a person. I was third in the queue. All I want was a papermate flexigrip ultra 1.9M 555 recycleable. And a cup of tea and a table to write at.
Eventually I got my papermate, and I made my way without a cup of tea to te northen end of the city.
An area I had walked the prevous time I was here with Alan and Zoe to the City of Salford. Which aparently isn’t a city but is.
I walk completly around the Sprinning Feilds and evenutally home in
one them sitting outside the Kitchens all eating delicous grub. I was oddly not hungry.
First yeas and I have a 330ml can of Lucky Jack IPA
That make us all happy.
Once we have all had some tucker Alan wants us to Mooch on.
And so we mooch
The John Rylands Library
heading on in.
Alan tells me he came here to watch the Bride Of Frankinstine. And it was a cold place to site for a few hours.
He is full of intresting facts, while I ponder how many dragons there are carved in stone.
You seek them here, you seek them there.
Err, and dark yet light
They even have wine bottom bottle windows here.
And then there is where the new meets the old. Just like today really.
We enter the great hall where the film was projected.
And today if you look up the sun is shining most wonderfully through the glass.
We weren’t the only ones mooch around the big and I mean very big old , and I mean very old books.
There were many books of many sizes, but they were all old.
In the cabinets were drawings.
intresting drawings and I’ll show you one in a minute.
But first some of us need to sit down from all the excitment.
so here is one of those drawings. The best drawing, there was to offer, the one drawing that said it all. Knowledge is Power. And if this is so then the Temple of Books is the most sacred and powerful of all places?
As we leave and decide on wanting scones and tea me and George lok at each other, smile and say are you thinking what I’m thinking. I’m thinking it too. How could they? Its so inviting. Study the picture you’ll understand, or maybe you won’t.
Do we find somewhere that does scones? Do we find somewhere that does huge scones? There was more cream I just licked it off!
Do we Zoe?
I get a text from Matt Poade that he has arrived and send him a map of where we are and advise he should turn his Google locations back on.
As it happens I know everyone wants scones and I choose a vanilla slice instead and go and sit down. But once everyone had had their’s, there was one left n the shelf. I finished my vanillia slice and ordered the last scone. I’ll class it as birthday cake. The girl behind the counter was most surprised, We’ve actually sold all of the scones, all of them.
The scone was very nice, big, and nice, it was like having two seperate ones. I ask Alan if he is giving Poade directions.
No he replied, When is he getting here? Er He has been here some time. He’s wondering the streets of Manchester again, and thats never goood. Poade ambles past the window looking everywhere but in. We are waving and then run outside to get him.
Now Paode is here we change venue and start drinking beer. I’m not sure if those two points are related. For some reason though Alan has brought us to somewhere where the beer is sold in halfs and 2/3rds. I order pints.
Kaz and Jerds, Brendon, Matt and Rosie. Age related talk comes about and we decide there is a time that you need to shave your pubes. Also the story of Matt Poade comes up about visiting the Post Office. From this point on it influences the rounds. Everytime Poade asks for a beer or I get him one he gets a pint of the 9% beer, regardless of what he asks for. He doesn’t seem to notice.
That is until he turns to me and says I’ll have this drink in the size it comes. Well the 9% beer comes in a half. And when I reutrn to Poade with his drink he seemed somewhat pee’d off that I only got him a half. Tight and stingy he called me, so back to the bar I went, ordered another half of 9% beer but aksed for a pint glass, returned to Poade with such and poured his original half into the new half in a pint glass. I smiled and said I hope you are happy . It was at this point in the toIlets something hapPened which was not good. Lookily though it wasn’t the end yet. Aware of the situation I thought I’d make it home.
I was going to be wrong, although at this point I did not know it yet. I pondered if we could get another round in?
And sure enough there was plenty of time for another few drinks.
The beer flowed, the chat flowed, the beer flowed
and when things start looking like this you knwo it might be time for the train. I check my watch sure enough
It was time to kiss goodbye, hug those you want to so much, and tell Poade for the fifth time, “we have got to go”. For some reason he did not want to leave. I did not want to leave. But having not left London on the last train with Mr Poade before, there is a point you know you should leave, and that’s when it’s the last train.
Oddly everyone left with us. And Poade seemed to be in no rush? It was at this point my sole would depart! It wasn’t good. It wasn’t a good feeling! It didn’t make it!
Near the station, Poade decide’s if he wants to go back to his wife and kids, or to live the rest of his life with Alan up north, a hard decision for him???
“Nack I though your train was leaving” cried out George – “IT IS I’M OFF, SOD HIM, I’m leaving him with you!” I replied
And off I go to the chu chu
passing Zoe’s parents, I look back where is Poade?
And walking to the far end of the platform he catches up…..
And just in time, we get on, and the train doors beep and close behind us, “Nack did you know it was so close to the train leaving?”. I look at him and his stupid grin. “YES I DID!”
We find our seats and I put the sole of my boot on the table, whilst listening to the drunk person next to me go on for an hour about heading into the center of Birmingham to get smashed, I can stay round his, I look at the sole of my boot and him. “Why not, you know you want to”. He knows me to well, but I can’t go around Brum with one boot! He goes on and on and on. And I’m begining to think the drink joke has backfired slightly, as its me having to put up with him. As we pull near Stafford where I’m getting off, so I’m not tempted by Birmingham, he says he’s not going to let me out of my window seat!
He looks at me in disbelief. But this is it, this is where my ride ends. I pick up my sole, in the hope it can be mended.
And make my way home.
As I lye on my been I think of noodles and that my contact lenses have done really well. That optican was right I can see clearly now, and with that I remember to take them out and close my eyes to dream of the good moments of the day, and to keep them in my head forever.
So did the post card ever get written I here you wonder?
It sure did – The Memoirs of Alans 40th Birthday mooch by my good self. But there’s only so much you can include on one post card ………