As was noted some time previous, the initial plan for this holiday came from a simple desire: to travel on a sleeper train. Once in plentiful supply, only two such services now remain: the Night Rivera, on which one can snooze one’s way to the West Country; and the Caledonian Sleeper, for people who prefer to approach Scotland with their eyes shut. Both destinations appealed to me, but with Scotland offering itself as an entire country in which my hand had never set foot, it was decided, relatively early in proceedings, that the Caledonian would be my sleeper of choice for this trip. Continue reading
In the course of the average week, I make a point of travelling, where practicable, by foot, feeling more than a little guilty if I resort to using public transport for a trip of, say, only a couple of miles or so. One of the reasons I decided against keeping a car when I moved back to Aberystwyth all those years ago, along with other tedious factors such as cost, the ready availability of an extensive public transport network and the like, was that I was concerned it may become an “easy option”, engendering laziness and adding needlessly to my carbon footprint: would I, for instance, walk the one-and-a-bit miles to work each day when I could just as easily hop into the car and save my legs seventeen minutes of bother? Even in the most inclement of weather, when taking the bus would the obvious option for any sane person, I tend to feel a little guilty, as I sit there, that I’m letting myself down by avoiding the exercise of a brisk walk through the wind and rain. Continue reading
London. Ah yes, London. That London. I haven’t really kept tabs on exactly how many times I’ve visited this, the capital city at the very heart of English infrastructure – if distinctly removed from the country’s geographical heart – and, as such, it was very much the odd man out in this holiday, my other destinations being comparatively unknown quantities to me. London, by contrast, I felt I knew like the back of my hand: back in Norfolk, it was only a short trip along the Fen Line away from me and even from Aberystwyth, it remained surprisingly easy (and cheap) to head off to London (single tickets start as low as £7.50, making it cheaper to travel from Aber to London than to Birmingham, rather amusingly). Continue reading
Not that I’m getting ahead of myself or anything, but with last September’s holiday only part-blogged and May’s holiday yet to come, I’ve now booked another one and a half trips, each along similar “let’s stick a pin in the map” lines.
So, supposing I can finally complete my roundabout tale of Oxford to Newcastle-under-Lyme, matters of minor importance can also be expected from the following destinations:
May 2012: The North and Not-So-North
September 2012: Up and Down
November 2012: Off-Season
- …and some other places to be determined at a later date.
Never let it be said that I’m incapable of planning ahead.
Having spent the first day of this holiday quite resolutely landlocked, it was high time, by day two, to head to the seaside. After all, I had, by this point, been away from the shore for upwards of thirty-six hours and, on the off-chance that I may get whatever is the polar opposite of seasick, I felt it prudent, when planning this holiday, to hurry back to more watery surroundings on day two, just in case the lack of water on day one caused any distress.
Of course, what I should have remembered was that, whilst I may have grown accustomed to the sea over the nigh-on fifteen years since I shuffled to within a few feet thereof, it’s by no means my natural habitat and, the first eighteen years of my life having been spent, for the most part, landlocked and really not all that fussed about it, the occasion of my venturing a significant distance from the shores of this august isle was unlikely to engender much by way of emotional disquiet. Still, why take the risk, eh? Continue reading