This weekend has finally arrived. My invitation was given to me personally by the parents of the groom who happen to be my cousins. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to make it from Hull in time and then back again. One of my uncles was kind enough to agree to pick me up and drop me off again. A lot rested on this. He was my first choice as he lives closest to the airport from that side of the family. A couple of weeks ago I scoured the available flights from the variety of different airports. I chose Liverpool for their price and the convenient time of travel. I would be able to work part of the day and then head off. The final purchase in preparation for this journey were the train tickets. All in all its not that bad of an itinerary.
My work is quite generous and nice. I headed off sometime at noon saying my goodbyes as I strolled out from the department. I don’t often have anxiety about a trip but today I felt some. I’ve been feeling it all week for some reason. It’s not like I’m frozen in some kind of dreadful fright unable to make decisions or any kind of movement. It’s a low level kind of anticipatory anxiety. It may have to do with having the tight schedule of my itinerary work out. Heading back won’t (hopefully) be an issue. It’s the getting there that usually has some degree of potential disaster if for example there is a train delay and I miss one of my connections. I’ve been on enough trains to know that this is a distinct possibility.
Since I left a bit early I decided to catch an earlier bus to the train station. On my way to the train station a sense of relief began to wash over me. This relief turned into a bit of excitement at the prospect of a little adventure. Back in Canada Chrl is waking up to snow that has fallen and she will be traveling to Calgary for Thanksgiving. We will both be on the road figuratively speaking. Here in Hull it is still relatively warm and the leaves have just recently begun to turn into their autumnal colors. The yellow was becoming apparent as I surveyed the trees lining the road as I sat on the upper deck of the double decker bus. There will be a lot of waiting and sitting today and since I had some time to kill I walked around slowly examining the shops around the station. There is a neat little antique shop that I’ll be returning to when I have some time. There is some old building that I never noticed before surrounded by trees alone the bus route that I took as well. Some abandoned looking Victorian building.
I read a lot once I got on the train. Long reads talking about a variety of random topics. One talked about the influence that this online podcast had over some of its listeners. The man behind the podcast has over the past ten or so years developed a cult like following by those who began to believe his philosophy. The big issue with all of his alt-right development was the complete removal of oneself from friends and family that one of the subjects in the story endured. Someone who was so intelligent was able to be influenced to such a degree by listening to hours and hours of podcasts… It was a cult like brainwashing simply based on active listening and then being drawn into the group by participating in discussion boards and then eventually by bear get all to likeminded individuals who then critiqued and normalized their behavior into one that fit the standards of the group.
My train rumbled quickly along the track towards my destination. I was reading about the McMansion phenomenon and how it relates to architectural esthetics. Usually these monstrosities were constructed without achieving the proper balance in its facade and thus by their very shape are prone to being soulless vestibules that are often described with the haunting language of haunted houses.
Was there anything positive in terms of news? There was the interesting story about the falling pound and a potential mistake or ‘fat finger error’ that precipitated an unprecedented momentary 10% fall in the value of the pound on the Asian markets. This was seen after the vote in June but now at this time there isn’t anything to connects he fall to. The steep spike recovered in four minutes time but someone could have potentially made a lot of money if an algorithm would have caught it in time.
When I arrived in Manchester there was a bit of a wait before I was able to board the next train. I had just enough time to stretch my legs and get a coffee. I’m just a passenger that has just hit Manchester at the height of Friday afternoon rush hour. The platforms were full of people on their way somewhere else. My reserved seat was not going to really happen. I sat down at a table that had some lads looking worse for wear. Their initial tough guy stare turned into their head down in the table sleeping off Thursday night. Those aren’t allergies they were trying to breathe through.
Liverpool airport doesn’t have direct rail service. That to me says something about what to expect. Maybe in time it will expand enough to warrant building some sort of spur line that will take one directly to the airport instead of having to catch a bus. I took the opportunity to finish off the herbs that have helped me get this far. An airport is not the place for that. The thought of travel lounges having a smoking section for a preflight and post flight puff seems like a far off dream these days and times.
The airport itself is just a box that isn’t finished to a fine standard. This isn’t Heathrow with all of its poshness and attention to detail. There is however a lot of security. They seem to go tough on everybody. The old man in security had to take a big draw on his puffer before walking through the metal detector. I myself had to go through the X-ray machine as well as an intimate pat down. I must look suspicious. My armpits were sweaty as I wore layers and haven’t taken a shower before getting here. I find going through security tense. I’m probably jaded from all those times going to the states.
The budget airline is the one that I am not fond of traveling with. It feels like a cattle ride inside a tube. The bright yellow contrasts brightly with the purple. The brightness is an assault on the senses as we sit in the most uncomfortable of seats. The cabin is hot and there is no way to adjust the seating. At least I have a window seat. In this case however it would have been nicer to have a seat along the isle.
We are finally beginning our descent. The discomfort of sitting in these seats is beginning to become intolerable. Still in two and some hours we have managed to fly halfway across Europe. This speed of travel will never get old.
After touchdown my uncle who was waiting near the airport came after we touched base after our call. We drove down the quiet empty streets towards the city where he has his flat. We chatted for a bit but we need some rest as the wedding will be another test of stamina.