The Crew from Crewe

As I sit in the train station at Crewe I noticed that I had some time to wait for my ride, so I figured I’d kick off the next blog entry. The sad thing is that I don’t have a great title for this one yet. Chances are I won’t finish in time anyway, so perhaps something better will come to mind.

Barring inspiration, I’m sure I can come up with some insanely random.

The funny thing is I’m sitting at the train station waiting for Cath to pick me up. Who the hell is Cath, you ask? I’ve not a clue. I contacted Chris this morning who hadn’t been back to his place to hide a key and won’t be home until later. So he sent secret agent Cath to come pick me up. Green dress, white dots, and a “sort of burgandy” Renault. She’ll be rounf at about 1445 for the rendezvous.

Kind of funny meeting someone you’ve never heard of, over 4000 miles away from home and a hundred or so miles away from London.

I asked Chris if we should have a password, you know stranger danger.

Chris had a laugh, and we settled on “hamburgers” as the password. Seems American enough for me! So now I have to walk up to every girl in a burgundy car with a green dress and say hamburgers and hope she doesn’t look at me like I’m freaking mental. ๐Ÿ™‚

So, to catch up…woke up early in London, had a nice shower and packed up my gear to leave. Lunch at Sophie’s steakhouse was a lovely two-course meal with a strange green potato soup and a ribeye with a nice bernaise sauce. No time for desert as I ran out of there to collect my stuff at the lyceum and DART down the street to Charing Cross Station.

It was so close, so, so close.

I ran through the ticket counter and used my new found tube knowledge to get north on the northern line as quickly as I possibly could. I knew that once I made Euston Station, five stops down the line, I would need to find the virgin trains fast ticket area, collect my ticket, find the platform, find my coach, and then my seat…

The tube train pulled into Euston at 1432…my train was set to depart at 1440!! 8 minutes to find my way out, navigate an unfamiliar train station and get my ass seated.

Stupid fucking ticket machine! Why won’t you read my visa!! Ah, there it is, thank god, ok, platform 12, RUN!

I tore ass through the station with my now 41.25 lb luggage (less the gifts I delivered to Jimbo) pushing it in front of me like the fast and the furious, knowing I needed to make it to the A coach, but the doors were shutting…I threw myself into the nearest door as it shut and we deoparted the station.

I guarantee you that I’m the only one on that train with luggage the size of a dead hooker. I’d bet money on it.

I pushed my dead hookercase down the aisles, sweating profusely and smacking people in the head with my tripod, saddled to the side of my camera bag…it was well embarrassing…found my seat and sat down, happy that I’d made the train…what an ordeal! I’ve got to allot more damn time for trains in the future of this trip. Luckily my return card is open ended ๐Ÿ™‚

Growing up in a small rural town in Minnesota, public transit has never really been my forte anyway. But I wonder if all the public transit necessity in Europe breeds generations of people well adept to counter balancing at high speeds in unstable conditions. Lord knows I wasn’t geard toward that.

When I’d boarded I had passed a beverage service counter and due to the amount of running I’d accomplished, I couldn’t think of anything more brilliant than something to drink…so once again I braved past business men and women, smacking the occasional one in the head with my backpack.

Virgin Trains operates a British Rail Class 390 train to Crewe, which utilizes Fiat’s pendolino technology which allows the train cars to lean around corners, shifting wait, and allowing higher speeds to corner in. A very smooth diesel powered system feeds generators which actually propel the train. You can read more about that here.

The problem with the tilting is that when you’re not expecting it, it can cause a bit of confusion in the muscles and effect your balance a bit. So I’d be feeling a curve start and naturally lean as the train did the same and then together the train and I would have a bit of chaotic harmony and my tripod would go on to smack another poor bastard in the head.

The trip through the north was quite nice. The train ride was smooth and really enjoyable. Getting out of London may well have done me some good. If I didn’t get some fresh air soon, there was a good chance that it was going to do me in. Living at a pub and drinking your way through life for a while is certainly not the best way to keep your sanity ๐Ÿ™‚

Chris just rang me to say that he’s trying to raise Cath on her mobile to say that he’s on the way to Crewe station. If Cath gets here first I’m to have her call Chris…

I think Chris and I have the same issues with timing and planning…after all, planning is so not cool anyway. While I fully agree with that, these sorts of moments always crack me up.

No worries…right now everything is an experience to be enjoyed. I’m along for the ride, no matter who its with. Less of course they try and hack me to little pieces or make me put lotion on myself and do what I’m told!!!

Cheers to Crewe! We’ll see what my future holds here. Until then, loyal readers. Cheers for now.


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