Day 110: Homeward Bound

Day 110: Homeward Bound

20.04.09:

I didn’t sleep last night either. Beginning to see Tyler Durdun. But then I did watch Ocean’s Thirteen yesterday. The lack of sleep has not helped my general disposition. I do have to take my YouTube vids down, I’ve got no choice in the matter. Sorry. The option is a one way ticket to Palookaville, and I’ve already been stuck there for six weeks AND I DIDN’T LIKE IT.

I’ll throw up some footage of Stan and I being manic and hilarious around Europe last year instead. At least I own that mini masterpiece.

So not a good start to the day. Compounded by the fact that I rose at 6am ready to get off the ship (we docked in Rotterdam at 5:45am) and found myself pacing up and down on deck until the shipping agent finally rocked up about 8.30am.

Missing my 8.50am train to Calais means that I’ll miss my ferry across the Channel and therefore my train back home to Liverpool.

This is all conspiring to make a bad day even worse.

As if to add insult to injury, I’m now sitting on a train with a bunch of French kids who have no volume control (and this is coming from Foghorn Freddy over here) and, I’ve got to be honest about this, their ridiculous singy-songy flob of an accent is driving me UP THE WALL. Sorry, there are some accents that make my skin crawl and I’m afraid loud obnoxious French is one of them. The same thing happens when I hear guttural Scouse, dumb Texan and broad Brum so don’t go accusing me of being a Francophobe. Viva La France! OO. LA. LA.

I don’t care much for German or Israeli accents for that matter – they sound like someone hacking up. Or Thai – I hate they way they elongate the last letter of the last word in every sentence. And New Yorkers with all that talking through their nose crap – oh yeah, count Sydneysiders in with that group. And Northern Irish – sounds like real Irish sifted through a babelfish of whiny malcontent. Camp Manc drives me up the wall as well. As for the Welsh… Look. I didn’t set out to be an accent Nazi, but I’m not in the best of moods today. Go away.

I quite like Scottish.

Later…

Okeily Dokeily. As expected, I missed my Calais-Dover ferry connection by the skin of my teeth, so I’m going to be an hour and a half late getting into Liverpool – which means I’ll have to wolf down my dinner like an shoeless orphan at Christmas before Kimos – the best eatery in Liverpool (listen up Lonely Planet, I know you’re watching) – closes at 11pm.

But to hell with it! I got the next ferry and now I’m zooming through the GLORIOUS English countryside (it may as well be humming ‘Jerusalem’) as the sun sets in a cloudless spring evening over the brilliantly hued fields of canola. It’s not too hot, it’s not to cold, it’s just right.

Wow. I was a bit wrapped up in myself earlier to think about this, but dagnamit, I’ve just travelled through more countries in FIVE HOURS – (Netherlands, Belgium, France and England) as I did in FIVE WEEKS in the midst of all that Cuba malarkey.

[Which you have now been denied the inside scoop on. Sorry. AND MY FOOTAGE OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE BLASTING OFF WAS AMAZING!!!!! Graham - leave it. Leeeeeeave it].

Oh well, the thing is that barring some major disaster, I’ll be back in dear old Liverpool in just a handful of hours. To me, home is wherever I hand my hat, but something will always draw me back to that crazy cacophony of a city that sprung me on an unsuspecting world back in the late seventies. And you know, it’s done a grand job of keeping my flighty mind entertained these past thirty years. There’s nowhere in the world I wouldn’t visit, but there are very few places I would live. So far Liverpool, Melbourne and New York is as far as the list goes, so I guess it’s a pretty special place.

And I’ll be there in just over three hours.

My friends and family are coming to the station to meet me and the next few days may be some of the craziest of my life. I’m going to attempt to get around the Five Nations of Britain and Ireland in just 17 and a half hours. Without flying, of course. The inaugural Five Nations Pub Crawl Odyssey is about to begin.

Here goes nothin’………………



VIDEO: Last Exit To Serbia! (2007)

VIDEO: Last Exit To Serbia! (2007)

In the summer of 2007, myself and Stanley “Stan” Stanrydt, two grown men with the mentality of 13 year olds, set out on an epic journey across the heart of Europe in search of music, beer, broads and a decent sausage.

In a Mazda sportscar we christened ‘Traci Lords’ (she was underage but could still squeeze us both in), we shot through France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia and Croatia in order to arrive in Novi Sad, Serbia, for the rather epic Exit Music Festival, held in an ancient fort on the Danube river. There we watched the likes of the Beastie Boys and many other bands that I vaguely don’t remember.

After four days of drunken debauchery, we sobered up and decided to take the long way round back to the UK. So we went to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dubrovnik in Croatia, rattled through Montenegro, got scared by the scary road in Albania, opted to take Traci out for a spin around the streets of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, before dripping our toes in Macedonia, skirting the city of Sofia in Bulgaria and crossed back over the Danube into Romania.

After a spooky trip around Bran castle in Transylvania (where Dracula was supposed to have lived), we thundered hell for leather back to Liverpool via Hungary, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. A music festival and about twenty countries visited for no good reason other than we could? Now that’s MY idea of a holiday!!