We parted company with Howard as he was booked on a later train. Most days on this trip have some sort of highlight, howver mundane. Today's was at Darlington station where we pulled in and the doors didn't open for some fifteen minutes. Two British Transport Police were then seen running on to the platform. Clearly, someone was being prevented from leaving the train. Did we have a violent criminal or, perhaps, even an escaped prisoner in our midst? The mystery was solved at the end of our carriage when a man was escorted from the train, followed by a broadcast apology for the delay apparently caused by a disruptive passenger. One possible result of this delay is that Frank may have missed his connecting train at Derby.
From Berwick down to York and beyond, the countryside all around seemed so bland in comparison to that we have passed through in the last two weeks; flat fields of harvested crops, quite unremittingly boring. Still, at least these farmers have managed to get their crops in.
As seen from the train, York has its own "London Eye".
At Sheffield, we were warned not to be alarmed. Due to work on a tunnel we were to be re-routed which would involve the train going backwards for a distance. This was actually for quite a distance, quite a number of miles. I'm not sure how far we went back along the line we'd just travelled but, I have to admit being a teensy bit concerned that we might find the next express train south bearing down on us.
[Memo to self: when the next stop past Sheffield is Chesterfield and the train reverses out of Sheffield station, how does it find itself in Chesterfield station, continuing to go backwards to the next stop, Derby?]
The journey home allowed time for one or two reflections which weren't recorded at the time. At first, when walking, I thought that Howard had a strange penchant for sniffing his left armpit from time to time until I discovered that he was lighting a cigarette out of the wind. His retort was that he wouldn't need to get his nose that close to catch the aroma.
Frank wins the prize for embarrassing behaviour. At the village shop at Eskdale Green in the Lake District, Howard and I professed not to know him when he did his bit to support a local business by the purchase of one carrot and one tomato for the princely sum of 17p.
The unpleasant feeling of pulling on wet socks and putting them into wet boots.
Allow us to help those in need, sell back your spare PocketMail and make some extra pocket money.