Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

Day 11 – Saturday, May 5th

Today was another traveling day for us as we took the train down the Eastern side of England heading back to Oxford. Being the anal Americans that we are, we arrived at the train station about 1-1/2 hours before our train was due to leave and were most disconcerted that we couldn’t find anything that told us which platform we were leaving from. Finally, about 45 minutes prior to our departure time I went up and asked one of the clerks. She smiled and said “oh….it is far too early to know that”!!! The platform numbers change daily and were only posted about 20 minutes before the train left. But, since it was only a 5 minute walk to get to the platform, we obviously had plenty of time.

We decided to visit the bathroom before we got onto the train and found that you had to pay 20 pence (20p) to get into the bathrooms. We laughed that we just had a 20p pee!!!

Several people had told us that the train along the Eastern side of the country was nicer than the Western side that we had done on Tuesday, so we were looking forward to a beautiful trip. However, we are still not sure exactly what they were talking about!!! We did follow the coast for a longer time and that was very pretty, but the rest of the trip was through larger cities and industrial areas and was NOT beautiful in the least!!!

However it was a fun journey because of the people that we shared our car with. During the first part of the trip, we watched a family with two little girls. Here the kids pronounce Mummy and Daddy a bit different…..the accent is on the first syllable and the last syllable is pronounced eee, so it sounds like MUMeeeeee and DADeeeee. The little girls said it constantly and loudly, but the parents were both trying to shush them. They got off when we got to York. In Leeds, we picked up a group of twelve or so boys, aged 12 to 18, who were on their way to a football (soccer) match in Manchester. As soon as the train manager came by to check tickets, they pulled out bags of beer and proceeded to drink an unknown quantity of cans of Fosters and Castle beer. They were not unruly….just excited. It was funny to watch them. The last part of the trip we talked to two young adults who were sharing our table. One was from the rural south and was at school at Leeds University. She was traveling home so that her Dad could help her with a website design project. The young man was from Liverpool and was traveling south for a holiday.

We had also not realized that it was “Bank Holiday weekend”, with Monday being the actual holiday, so the trains were even more crowded. At each stop a few got off and even more got on!!! We were glad to return to Oxford and enjoyed getting back to our house.

We ended the day by watching an episode of “Dr. Who”, a show that we had enjoyed while we were in Australia. It is a (low budget) sci-fi show about a “Time Lord” who goes around saving the world. The main character regenerates into other people, so many different actors have played “The Doctor” over the years. The version last night starred David Tennant, who is the actor that played Barty Crouch Jr. in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”.

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