I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Go West

The weekend was on! Staying in on Friday evening and still eating plain food, albeit a proper meal (chicken and new potatoes) meant I woke up on Saturday feeling way better than most Saturdays, let alone the previous two days. I was still harbouring the psychological effects of having partaken poison pie, but the food -- and a bottle of Diet Coke -- having stayed down gave me enough confidence to venture out. A long way out, actually. We'd booked, several weeks previously, rail tickets to Bodmin in Cornwall, where one of Ruth's brothers lives; quite apart from a long overdue visit (although we'd seen him and a couple of the kids just before Christmas), it was another item on Ruth's "right, I'm off for a year" social calendar.

The journey out was pretty nondescript really. We left a bit earlier than TfL had told us to, changed onto the tube at Waterloo thinking we were pushed for time, only to arrive in Paddington with plenty to spare. Got out some sterlings, bought some caffeine, and plonked ourselves directly into First Class.

It's addictive, see. It's "only" a train, but we're used to high-falutin' means of transport now. More legitimately, it's only £10 per person to upgrade at the weekends and for 4hrs on the train we thought it was worth it (having spent the initial ticket money weeks ago). Given that being in First Class confers rights to free tea, coffee, Mini Cheddars, biscuits, and Diet Coke, we even got a bit of the spend back in scran. But best of all was the all important feeling of superiority and aloofness that travelling in a very-marginally better class of travel brings. Ahem. I spent most of it reading my book about death in the Grand Canyon anyway.
Shitty weather in Devon
Shitty weather in Devon

Quick aside: Ruth's playing PathWords on Facebook as I type this, and she just joyfully told me that it has accepted the word "shat". Awesome.

Ahem again. Anyway. The weather got progressively worse as we went, starting to really tip it down when we crossed the Tamar into Cornwall. I love crossing the Tamar, though I'd only done it a mere twice beforehand. Actually no, 4 times: by ferry at Torpoint and by train, one return trip each. Nonetheless it has a real feel to it, caused by the knowledge that you're transferring from one county to another and, westbound, to the edge of England. Most counties (IME at least) don't have such stark and obvious boundaries, fully formed by something in the geography.

It also helps that the crossings are ace. The ferry isn't a proper ferry, but is on a chain; and the bridge is a huge epic picturesque Isambard Kingdom Brunel piece of awesomeness. I just learnt that it's called the Royal Albert Bridge, having looked it up just so I can link to it. I thought it was the Tamar Bridge, which makes a bit more sense and sounds better, but it turns out that's the road bridge which runs parallel. Oh well.

At Bodmin we were met by Ruth's brother Simon, his wife Kate, and Jack, one of their four kids. Our lift to their house was via Kate's sister's house while Simon picked up the other son, Matthew, from his football game. The poor lad had just been on the wrong side, in the pissing rain, of an 8-1 defeat. Failsome. Onwards to Kate and Simon's via a quick guided tour of Bodmin, as soon as we arrived we were given food.


Fucking have that, son.

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