John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Tuesday 31 January 2012


The schedule for today was:
  • 12:26–15:26 Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport
We had a last check of documentation at the dining-room table, but it was getting close to the time the taxi was booked for. Janet appeared dazed and a bit close to panic. She was upstairs when the taxi arrived at 12 o’clock. The driver and I loaded the bags in the boot, then I seemed to be waiting a long time at the foot of the stairs for her to come down — don’t suppose it was that long, really. With temperature just above freezing, we were kept waiting on the station platform — we called the staff some unseemly things (not in their hearing!) — before they arrived and the train doors were opened. I could hear a guy jabbering on his mobile phone even through music from the computer on my in-ear phones. Janet was getting pissed off with him. He did stop, in fact, before he alighted at Scunthorpe. Janet, facing forward so she could keep an eye on the luggage in the rack, was first to notice snow on the hills after Sheffield.





I was interested as tens and tens of wireless internet connections came up on the list: e.g. “Steve home”, “Sam and Elizabeth”, a “Virgin Trains” train with Wi-Fi which must have been nearby, and — what made me chuckle, because of our golliwog Jasper — “Jasper’s router”.

It was quite bitterly cold when we arrived. What was marked as the “concourse” was deserted, which seemed strange; we passed through it to reach the taxi rank. We asked for the “Premier Inn” and the driver asked, “Which one?” — for there are two facing each other across the road. On what we told him, he delivered us to the right one. There was only one set of towels, so we asked at reception, and the man told us he would see to it, if we didn’t mind him entering our room. We had a drink in the lounge bar, returning to the room, though, before our table booking-time. We found the heater above the door blowing cold air, so Janet rang the reception number and someone came. He reset the heater wall-control; it still seemed to be blowing cold, but he said it would take some time to heat up. We went for dinner — the waiter seemed very obsequious! I opted for the “chef’s special” for the day: three Gressingham duck sausages with mashed potato in a rich sweetish sauce and sweet red cabbage. I think I found a grape or two as well. I enjoyed it, but wish there’d been more. Janet had lasagne with a salad — the only thing she could find on the menu that wasn’t packed with calories or garlic. When we returned to the room the “heater” was still blowing cold, so we summoned another man, who fixed it this time — fixed it too well, because the room got very hot. Made a change from a cold room at night at home, though, and shivering when getting up to go to the loo! Acclimatising us to Egypt?! We didn’t want to touch it further lest it blow cold again. So it was still blowing hot when we vacated the room next day.

[Wednesday 1 February 2012]

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