[Monday 28 November 2016]
Premier Inn, Runger Lane South
08:55–11:49 Manchester Airport–Cleethorpes
Janet didn’t sleep well. I did, though. She intended to set the alarm at 6.30am, but it went off at 6am. I shaved when Janet finished using the sink. (The shaver socket was by the sink.) Showered; dressed. We went down for breakfast at 7.30am. Till now, I’d have gone down alone; but now, Janet has to gain weight, so she resisted the quasi-instinct from years of strict dieting and accompanied me. I had the “full English breakfast” and she the “continental breakfast”.
It was ca.8.15am when we went back to the room to get the luggage. When we got back down again a little before 8.30am and I handed the key-card over at reception, the shuttle minibus was already there, and several people had already boarded. There didn’t seem to be any room at the back for our cases, but the driver got them in somehow. We sat in the front bench-seat. On arrival, we went first to the station buffet. As Janet went to the counter, I spoke to a young man seated opposite me who was perhaps of Indian extraction, a native Aberdonian, though, judging by his accent. He’d flown in from Aberdeen and was going to Sheffield for an interview to study medicine. He’d also applied to Aberdeen University. A little before the train was due, Janet and I moved to the waiting room on the platform where the train would be. It arrived some five minutes after its scheduled departure time, and passengers boarded as soon as those arriving got off. There was no cleaning done, and the conductor put out the seat-reservation cards after the passengers boarded. We were the first aboard, and I put the cases on the first shelf of the luggage-rack above the floor. (There was initially a large case on the floor of the rack: a late-disembarking passenger’s.) We sat opposite the luggage rack in the “priority seats”, but when the conductor put a reservation card behind one of them, for a reservation from Manchester Piccadilly, we moved to our actual reserved seats towards the end of the carriage, which had remained unoccupied. In fact, the train never completely filled up throughout its journey; there were always some seats free (an unusual phenomenon in our experience on this route). A hoar of frost covered the fields in the Pennines. The sheep in them didn’t seem to mind, and went about their nibbling activity. Some south-facing fields were free of frost, and green. The farther hills were seen through a haze. The sun was piercingly brilliant through a hazy, powder-blue sky. There were still some autumnally golden trees to be seen; but many appeared, skeletally silhouetted against the brightness beyond them, as we passed. After Scunthorpe I noticed frozen puddles and ponds in the fields. We got off at Grimsby Town station, and boarded a waiting taxi in the station forecourt. We were home a little after midday.…
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