The 12 hour journey begins… Suitcases in tow, we got on the first coach. 2 hours twenty minutes from the southern coast to London Victoria. A pleasant enough journey spent watching the good place and rewatching an episode of the people vs OJ with the fiancé. That part of the journey always goes quickly, especially when aided by maltesers… Although I spent most of the journey waiting to get to London so I could have food.
I had spent the day doing the ultra last minute things ready for our trip, so had not made any significant time to eat anything. So when we arrived dinner, even if it was a cardboard McDonald’s meal, was better than any food I could have imagined.
But afterwards… That’s when the real fun began! Waiting outside of Victoria coach station while we finished our cigarettes was more interesting than an episode of Jeremy Kyle. A gentleman, who for whatever bizarre reason was stood in the middle of a busy crossroads, provided our post dinner entertainment. I’ll refrain from making a slew of jokes about him as no doubt he is experiencing a multitude of mental health issues. But it was quite comical, to a point, watching him walk towards moving vehicles while shouting at the top of his voice.
Being the person that has half a heart, I didn’t just watch and laugh or give him weird looks. At first I did and thought he would get out the way. But when he didn’t I called the police to inform them that he is putting himself in danger. One question the operator asked me really caught me off guard:
Operator: Do you think there may be some mental health issues there?
My inner monologue: No, I’m sure he is being 100% rational… Of fucking course there is some mental health issue there, who the fuck stands in the middle of a busy crossroads, in the heart of most London coach arrivals and depatures, just for the jolly of it?!
Me on the phone: Given the circumstances and his behaviour there is very strong reason to suspect there is mental health issues…
Anyway to cut that medium length story short of all my very elaborate embellishments, the police arrived, talked to him, and he walked away from the crossroads. What became of the man we’ll never know, we went to catch the second coach.
The beginning of the second coach ride, and at 11pm, brought what could be a blessing in disguise. Typically we chose the seats right next to the rear emergency exit. We do this because you get double the leg room. This time though, a few minutes after we sat down, a young couple came and asked if they could have the seats because they made it easier to use their child’s car seat. Being nice people we agreed and moved to the very back… Well to be honest, we hit the jackpot! The seats have less legroom but have way more width. Neither myself nor my fiancé are skinny minnies so the substantial extra room between and either side of us is heavenly. We don’t feel like we’re sat on each others laps, because in fact we aren’t even touching! BINGO
The lack of legroom meant it required some gymnastic movements to put my onesie on for the long haul, but I managed it. It would be almost perfect if the beloved, blessed, angel from heaven above, child in the car seat wasn’t crying! So I’ve put headphones in and I’m going to attempt some sleep in a minute. Oh yeah, I also forgot my travel pillow so expect complaints about a sore neck later…
It’s 3:40am. We’ve stopped at the services and I actually slept for about 3 hours, which is more than usual! The child continued crying on and off for about 2 hours. The woman in front of the young family would not shut the fuck up, and no doubt that was what was setting off the child. She was walking up and down the bus to find a charger, then found one to discover the plugs on the coach weren’t working. I’m guessing the proceeding conversation was a rant about it all.
I lift my hat to the young family. They kept their cool and continued to settle the child without flipping out at the woman. That’s hard work, especially when you’re aware that everyone else around you is trying to sleep.
I found a nifty little trip to help me get some shut eye on this journey… The handles on the back of each seat and a scarf makes for a perfect back hammock. I tied my scarf around the handle of the seat in front, and behind my seat. This meant I would sit/lie at an angle very comfortably. It also meant I could rest my head in a more stable and upright position to avoid neck ache.
I’m also over the moon at the performance of my phone. When I boarded the second bus I had 58% charge. With that I’ve check twitter a handful of times, written all this so far and listened to music with my Bluetooth headphones for nearly five hours – and I still have 38% charge! Fucking result – does a mini seated happy dance!
We’re between Sheffield and leads now with another 2 hours and 30 minutes until we arrive in Newcastle. It’s so cold outside and I know for a fact this lilylivered southerner is going to freeze over the next few days…
We made it to Newcastle at about 6:10am, I got a few hours sleep overall so I think I might make it through the day!
Ps. I did make it through the day!
Please share the love around you gorgeous people, and get commenting – I’d love to know your thoughts and stories too!