I’m penning this missive aboard carriage A on a Transpennine train to Newcastle. Out of the window to my right the flat sweeping green fields of North Yorkshire provide enchantingly scenic views. Looking through left sided windows affords similarly aesthetic landscape for this middle aged fella’s tired eyes.
They say the early bird captures the worm, but as I’m not an avian I settled for a petit dejeuner of an egg, bacon and sausage sandwich as my petit déjeuner. The provider of this fairly flavourless fare a train station eatery who from the tuck’s taste utilises recycled cardboard as a source ingredient.
At this juncture, like any responsible citizen, I’d like to point out I’m all for recycling. For instance, I’m reliably informed since moving to my new apartment in mid-August, yours truly’s proficiency at draining wine bottles has resulted in huge increases in a need to empty glass recycle bins.
On the negative side mind you, my’going green’ strategy possibly hammering Wakefield council’s refuse budget… Not to mention my long-suffering liver.
To avoid potential litigation from ‘injured parties’, I’d like to point out my quips about the food quality are mischievous fictional japes. My sandwich was perfectly palatable; in fact I found the novelty of a bacon rasher adorning a partial Amazon logo quite quirky.
With having a mere eight minutes between arriving in Newcastle and departing on an onward Edinburgh locomotive, I’ll not be sampling the former’s legendary nightlife. That being said, my upbringing across the River Tyne in Gateshead means that’s not a bucket list itch requiring a scratch.
Sat next to me as we tarry north to Edinburgh is my partner Sarah. The Ossett lass who can swear fluently in three different languages, quirkily none of them English, joining me for two nights in the Scottish capital city… Her weekend mission to add Caledonian profanisaurus entries into her ever burgeoning curse database.
Seriously, though, we are venturing north to the land of my roots to attend a Michael Palin show, tread Edinburgh Royal Mile’s cobbles, visit the metropolis’ iconic castle and procure a Strachan clan keyring from one of the cities numerous souvenir stores. Of course, we’ll partake in many other things, but at time of writing they remain a mystery wrapped within an enigma… Or should I say a Guinness wrapped in a pint glass.
This weekend’s events will come as quite a. culture shock for Sarah. It’s so long since her last train journey. So distant in fact that during her last rail odyssey individuals were allowed to smoke onboard a locomotive… I wouldn’t care she was only 6 years old at the time!!… Gildersome lasses clearly started on the tabs young.
In contemporary times she can only sly the odd puff on an e-cig. Her clandestine pegging aboard meaning she’s had to learn to blow smoke out of her ears in an attempt to mask this wanton edict breaking.
It has to be said, watching steam emanating from her ears a highly disturbing sight… Although not as unsettling as when her eyes spin anti-clockwise on the occasions she says the word microwave.
What my Ossett beau makes of Michael Palin’s chat this evening about his global travels will be interesting. Upon asking her if she’d like to join me in the audience, Sazza claimed she’d not heard of the former Monty Python member turned documentary maker. When seeking to clarify Palin’s identity, Brooky curiously inquiring “Is he Jeremy Clarkson?“
“No, that’s Jeremy Clarkson!” I assured her despairingly.
“Are you sure?” she inquired. Prior to adding “Cos he does a lot of travelling around the world on that programme he does.“
“What ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’?!” I countered mischievously.
“Noooooo, you silly sod!!!” she bit back. Adding firmly “I mean the other one he does.”
“Oh, you mean the one where he’s poncing around on his farm?” Yours truly sarcastically chirped.
“Yes, that’s the one… Top Gear!” my beau interjected… A retort which brought the conversation to a crashing denouement.