I know, I know... I'm getting behind so this is going to be as quick yet as detailed as I can make it.
The final morning of our visit was rightly spent with Norman's family. We met them at their church in Pendleton whereupon we had a cuppa in the church hall. We chatted with Richard (Norman's brother) until the service ended. Since Richard will be 18 this week there was an 18th birthday cake being shared out amongst the parishoners and being enjoyed by all.
However I had this uncanny feeling that I was about to spontaneously combust.... I'm a witch after all... in a church....
Now that's not to say that I don't like ecclesiastical structures (except the MODERN Coventry Cathedral... even the bombed out one is more aesthetically pleasing!! I just don't like ORGANISED religion.) BUT these people when they found out Joel was in hospital, put him on the prayer list, said a special prayer when he passed and continue to have me on their prayer list for 'strength and peace' or something. I just didn't feel right and even there I didn't feel Joel, nor did I feel any peace, just slightly uncomfortable. The only place I've really 'felt' Joel, and felt he's at peace is in our home.
I'd still like to share some funny cartoons with you:
Now.... We managed to get a train in Manchester NOOOOOOOO bother!! So we can't blame the Mancs for this!! Got a train nicely and the journey was pleasant as far as Crewe... which of course reminded me of a song:
Gentlemen should please refrain
From urinating while the train
Is standing here at platform number 2.
Railway workers underneath
Will get it in their eyes and teeth
And they don't like it, nor I think would you.
Ladies wishing to pass water
Kindly ask a passing porter
To place a container in the vestibule.
We encourage constipation
When the train is in the station
Crossed legs, grin and bear it is our rule.
Honeymooners in the carriage
Do not consummate your marriage
While the train is standing here at Crewe.
Please restrain your bodily functions
Until we reach Clapham Junction
Where there's really nothing else to do. (Actually the versions I've always know have had 'f*ck all else/sod all else' inserted for 'really nothing'!!)
But since we were at Crewe I was looking. We JUST missed the train to Glasgow. Now in the days of Brief Encounter we could have hauled open a door, thrown in the suitcase and bags and leapt onto the train with the guard shouting " 'Ere Miss, Sir, you can't be doin' that!" but we'd collapse in a heap in the hall and then some gentleman would help me to my feet (even offer me his seat)....
Well this is the day and age of technology and although the train was 'standing here at Crewe'.... they had already blown the whistle and wouldn't hold the train another minute so we could get on, so we had to wait a whole hour for the next Virgin mainline London Euston to Glasgow Central stopping at only about 4 places including Carlisle. Well, we thought THEN that it would be fine as we had plenty of time (it only being about 4pm when we got there and 5.05pm when we got the Glasgow train bound for Carlisle....). We arrived in Carlisle around 7pm. Just nice time we thought for the 7.15pm to Newcastle. We were first told that no such train existed... it was Sunday service (it was indeed a Sunday), and there had been one at 5.15 and the next would be 8.15. We then find out that there was SUPPOSED to have been one at 5.15 but it had broken down so they were going to replace it with one at 7.15 which had been cancelled. We had to wait for the 8.15..... which eventually turned out to be the 9.45 (once it departed). *Sigh*.
In the meantime I'd somehow managed to get myself sat next to this rather inebriated (read drunk out of her face) Irish woman called Annie (I don't know her 2nd name nor did I want to find out). I got the life story.. .she'd come over to see this guy who's wedding tackle was only like 2" big (apparently) and he called the cops on her because she wouldn't have sex with him (even the guy the other side of her was rolling his eyes as if to say.... 'more like cuz she was pissed out of her face and wouldn't leave him alone!'... I had to agree!). But she was my best friend and all that....
At one point in the evening... I think about 8pm they closed the toilets on the platform we were on, leaving only those over the bridge open. Ms Irish Colleen there decided she needed to pee... and disappeared off round the back of this static train. I hasten to add that the toilets on our platform were right next to the British Transport Police.... Well whatever she did around there was NOTHING to what was to come!
About 30 mins later she needed the toilet again, asks me AGAIN where the toilets are and I gesture over the other side of two mainline tracks but did say 'You'll have to go over by the bridge [*checks watch*] you've got 20 mins according to what the guard has been saying as the train isn't due in until half past'... SHE decides that she'll pee herself if she does that and proceeds (with about a dozen people shouting variations of "You can't do that!" or "You'll get yourself killed", "You'll be arrested!" or "That's trespassing on Railway property!" and this is just passengers waiting for the Newcastle train, not railway staff!) to lower herself down to the tracks, walk across in flip flops then discover she couldn't get up the 4 foot to the opposite platform... about 2 feet to her left was a metal stirrup and she could (and did eventually) get up there but not before she'd thrown her flip flops up to the platform, had about 6 or 7 train staff running from all directions and they'd called the police. She ended up getting arrested for Drunk and Disorderly, Tresspassing on Railway property, Urinating in a public place (CCTV had caught whatever she'd done behind the train) and Smoking in a Public place (she had been chain smoking pretty much all the time we'd been sitting there!)
|Now dontcha be doin' that again do ye hear!|
Well.... since the train didn't get in until 9.33, and I know it's about 1 hour and 35 mins to get from Carlisle to Newcastle, I knew I had a snowball in Hades chance of catching the last bus home. I was wondering just HOW to get to Chopwell.....
The nice guard on the train (poor guy first day back after a holiday!) was on the phone practically the whole journey (I don't think any tickets got checked to be honest but there was only so much a guy can do!) to manage to get some taxis secured for people going further afield.
Poor Norman was frantic since he wanted to make sure I DID get home safe but had to leg it to catch his OWN last bus home (and just made it). As it was I didn't get home until 11.50pm (we got into Newcastle pretty much on the dot of 11pm .... the train driver was pushing the train as quickly as rail speed limits allowed) because I was in a taxi with 2 other passengers in the same boat... a guy who lived in Bensham (part of Gateshead) and a woman who lived in Hamsterley (village just beyond me towards Consett). I volunteered to be last drop off since I didn't have to get up for work and they both did. The taxi driver was a nice chatty guy, would've been going home but got that job literally 2 mins before he knocked off shift and had about a 30 mile round trip to do! He was sweet too... dragged my trolley case up to the door and stood while I got in and made sure I was ok before leaving himself. So.... alls well that ends well (thank you Mr Shakespeare!!). Other than letting a couple of people know by text that I was safe and sound, I just fell into bed.
Monday morning and all I did was loads and loads of washing (I'm going thru all of Joel's clothing seeing waht is wanting repaired and kept/kept but for a memory quilt/kept and used for me to wear/chucked or passed on). Went over to Jenny's for a bit and had chinese take out. Apart from writing this blog, checking and getting up to date with emails and facebook, that's about all I've done today because I was really shattered after yesterday.
Well it's now technically Tuesday since it's 4.22am. I'd better get some sleep as I'm off gallivanting again (yes, AGAIN) but this time only locally over to the coast for the day with Norman (and Carl??).
I leave you with some pictures of Joel:
|Oooooh she's wearing purple again Mam!|
|My Joel, at a computer... what more can I say!! Joel and computers... you can't separate them!|
Gute Nacht Leute... bis Morgen!