Hooray no full English! Went for scrambled eggs on toast laced with smoked salmon.
Checked out of The Border Hotel (who had been taken over that morning) and headed over to where T_____ and A______ were staying. Loitered around for a few mins as I was a bit early, but they soon came out. Taxi arrived and it was a sweltering hours’ drive to Berwick upon Tweed. England’s most Northern town. ‘We’ve got scots with english accents and english with scots accents’ said the taxi driver.
Went to the station and asked if I could change my ticket home which was for tomorrow. The ticket originally cost me fifty pounds, and they wanted an extra eighty to change it! Dismayed (but determined to get over it asap) that I couldn’t get home I said goodbye to T____ and A____ and headed to The Castle Hotel for a drink and to use their wifi to see if I could find some cheap accommodation. After futiley searching online for a while, (all the normal accommodation search engines were bringing up things that were miles away), it suddenly occurred to me that I was in a hotel and should enquire if they had any rooms! (I’ve never been the sharpest brush in the box!) Thirty four pounds for single-occupancy double room later and I was sorted.
Again too early to check-in so I set out to explore Berwick upon Tweed. An old walled town with a lovely lot of coast.
Had a good wander round, bought presents for family and then at 3pm went and checked in, and zoned out for a couple of hours in front of the telly.
Mostly people nice, but alas being a larger town it also had a certain amount of whatever the current term is for the sportswear wearing criminal underclass that dwell in Britain’s larger towns hanging around being a bit antisocial.
With evening approaching I went and sat on the beach, staring out to sea. The sea always soothes my nerves. I’d set some big goals for this trip and had been able to think with terrific clarity on some days. Ultimately though had I ‘found myself’, and worked out what I could do for a career when my existing one winds up in a couple of years? I’d had this high falutin notion of being able to take my whole personality apart by detailed analysis of the things that have happened to me, the choices made (or not made) etc and seeing what and why and how it all stacked up with a view to rebuilding it all into something better, stronger, more coherent, with more sense of purpose. Of course these were probably unrealistic aims. I’ve certainly learnt a lot from this trip and have clarity on what I want to do creatively next, but ultimately of course I’m pretty much the same person as when I started.
As the old saying has it, ‘wherever you go, there you are.’
Feeling a bit clearer and more settled, I picked up a Chinese takeaway and a bottle of wine, went back to the hotel room and watched Terminator 4, which fortunately wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.