John Edward Cooper’s Notes

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Saturday 28 June 2014

[Friday 27 June 2014]

Travelodge London Heathrow Central
08:26 Heathrow Term 4 (Heathrow Express)
08:30 Heathrow Term123
08:33 Heathrow Term123 (Heathrow Express)
08:49 London Paddington
09:04 London Paddington (London Underground)
09:19 London Kings Cross
09:48 London Kings Cross (Hull Trains)
11:23 Doncaster
11:37 Doncaster (TransPennine Express)
12:51 Cleethorpes

Day 179 2 Kings 9; Mark 9

Woke up a few times in the night… Janet had set the alarm clock to 6am. I used the bathroom after her. The shaver socket there didn’t work, so I had to shave at the desk, using the old adaptor plug that I use at home. Packed my bits and pieces in the rucksack. We were about to leave the room, ca.7.15am, when I noticed that my left elbow felt wet; the dressing had been compromised and water had got into it, so despite time being short I replaced it. We were down at reception on the first floor to hand in the key-card, then down on the ground-floor forecourt for our taxi, by the appointed 7.30am. It was an un-metered minibus which came for us. The driver proposed taking us all the way to Kings Cross for £58, but we declined, and he took us to Terminal 3. The receptionist had told us that the charge would be £12, and that indeed is what he asked for. Initially it wasn’t obvious which was the way to the Heathrow Express station, so I went inside the building and found a sign pointing to it. Meanwhile, Janet had asked a Heathrow Airport employee for directions, and indicated a more direct-seeming route. From Paddington we didn’t attempt any stairs to and from the Underground, but got a taxi instead to Kings Cross station. We were in time for an earlier train (09:03) so we boarded it. The first two coaches were “First Class” but we found seats in the next one, which happened also to be the buffet car. I had a hot bacon sandwich with brown sauce and a cup of coffee. This train was 45 minutes earlier than the planned one (09:48). At Doncaster, though, a Cleethorpes train had just departed as we arrived (they run hourly) so we had to wait for the planned one (11:37). It had been reasonably warm in London, less so on the needlessly refrigerated trains, but now I felt quite cold and my coat was somewhere in China. A train hauled by steam locomotive Oliver Cromwell passed by. “Is that Britannia class?” I asked myself aloud. (Wikipedia confirms that it indeed is: “70013 Oliver Cromwell is a British Railways standard class 7 (also known as the Britannia class) preserved steam locomotive.”) Janet went and got some food items for me. We occupied our booked seats on the train when it came. Janet was upset when I found that the sandwich was laced with disagreeable-smelling jissom, for on all the other sandwiches she’d seen it had been explicitly stated that they contained “mayo” but not this one. So I didn’t eat it, but had the crisps and apple that came with it. There was some bastard nearby with a frenetic “Hall of the Mountain King” ring-tone on his mobile phone, and the caller’s voice on speaker. I suspect he was drunk. We got off the train at Grimsby Town, and I shivered in the waiting room while Janet went off to buy some milk. Then we got a taxi and we arrived at home not long after 1pm.…

[China, 2014]

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