Ok.. so this is a tad belated! I’d love to say I’ve been busy, but nope.. I’ve just not really mustered up the energy to sling stuff down on here. However….
So, we decided to do a UK new year. Sarah kindly volunteered to come around and take care of the cats for us, and, having spent the last 3 new years in Holland it was really about time Es got the whole Uk new year thing. Phil had agreed that we could stay with him, so we flew over to Liverpool airport, where he picked us up. All was hunky dory for the first hour or so, up until, having sat down at Phil’s we are kind of stuck for what to do for the actual New Years eve out. I’d arranged that we could all get into Dantes in Crewe for a rock night xmas, but Phil was after going to a friends house for a party there. Whilst discussing what to do, it became obvious because of the distance to town from Phil’s we’d need transport of some ilk. Phil said he’d drive, but frankly that wasn’t fair. The idea of Es n me heading into town and getting back on our own steam was mooted, but Phil said no, he would drive, and if it was crap in Dantes, we’d head back to the party. Unfortunately whilst saying that, he’d knocked back half a bottle of wine.
Cautious of getting into the car after that, I made the call that he was ok, if not legally so, so it sounded like a plan. Until the weed came out. Now, I’ve always been anti drugs. Always have, always will be. Two smokes later and he’s ready to go, so we head off. I’m already not amused, but what can i do on NYE? With nowhere else to stop, it was a case of being pretty much stuck. Much like the situation with Wayne in Philly I’d put Es and me in the hands of a mate, and they’d shat on me. Not happy.
So.. we land at Dante’s, and it’s quiet. Like, 60 people max quiet. 2 hours(ish) later and with only 3 tunes having been played we knew I was starting to feel a bit of an arsehole myself. It was me who really wanted to be in Dantes, and it was, frankly, crap! Phil and his lass were looking bored, and in fairness so were Es n my good self. So, we said sod it, lets head back, drop the car off at Phil’s, and go to the house party. landing back at Phil’s he took a call within which he repeated, " you’ve got a load of drugs" . Again not amused I collared him about it. He said I must’ve misheard. He would never put us in a position where there was stuff like that going on. So, off we trundled. We arrived to maybe 7 people in the house. And in the kitchen… a big assed bong, which i only noticed cos I saw Phil on it! By this time I’d had enough. I collared Phil and said we were leaving. If he’d have had anything about him, he’d’ve come with us, or even suggested leaving first. We’d flown over from Holland ffs. Imagine if the jolly old plods had come a calling. Es with her Dutch passport would’ve been the instant suspect for the dealer, and just being caught with stuff like that in the house could’ve lost her her job, and subsequently us our house.
So we left, walked back to Phil’s, then at about 7am took the walk into town. From Shavington. Arriving at the Waverley I’ve no idea how much later, we grabbed a room for the length of our stay. We could relax! New years eve had gone tits up, but at least we knew we had a bed for the next few nights. Albeit at a cost not factored in in the budget!
Crewe is much as it was. I took Es round the old pubs on Earl Street, discovering that Hamish lived about my mates house was amusing. I slung a note through his door saying " I’m in the pub", but there was no sign of him after an hour so we left. I subsequently found an inbox saying he was working. We were in Crewe for 5 days. There was no attempt at any other contact. That’s not necessarily a bad thing I guess. Much like a bunch of other people, if he/they can’t be arsed to come to me and Wifey to say " Hi", it’s a resounding case of "Sod you then". I’ve given up with expending energy chasing friendships and relationships which are not there. My number hasn’t changed in nearing 9 years.
On saying that, we had a great evening out with Mike and Sarah, and a good chuckle in the Hop Pole with Mr Myers, even if he did forget we were still there! Was good to catch up. Also we managed to get to Cheshire Oaks, but bought diddly squat there aside from one jumper for me. It’s a nice jumper mind.. lol watched Arse beat West Ham in the cup too in the Imp, and grabbed a good meal in the Bombay on High Street Crewe.
So, time comes to head home, and we wake up to snow. Lots of snow. Not cms but inches! More in hope than anything else, we headed back up to Liverpool airport. Things looked good for a while.. and then.. more snow. Visibility disintegrated and the flight was cancelled. Now, as this is classed as an "act of god" Easyjet were not obliged to refund us the ticket. However, they said because of the extreme circumstances… they would, either that, or transfer and fly tomorrow instead. So… tomorrow it was then! One hitch. Where to stay for the night? We trotted off the airport into the now 6inch deep snow at the airport to be told, "All public transport and taxis are not running". Nice! So, where to go… and how to get there? There was a hotel across the road from the airport, but the city was 9 miles away. Off to the hotel it was then. One hitch. Our flight was a reasonably late flight, there had been many before ours. Many which had cancelled. So the hotel was full. Hmm,… must be another hotel close by. So off we set, heading back the way we’d come, through lots of snow a temp of -6 not including wind chill, and having tried another hotel which was full we wound up 2+ miles down the road, frozen, at The Crowne Plaza Liverpool Airport (John Lennon). We landed on their doorstep, and into a queue. having waited in reasonable good humour, we got to the desk, and asked for a room to be told "We have none.". Es by this time was not in the best of states. Cross tired and angry women rarely are in the best of states, and the attitude of the girl behind the counter did nothing to help as she looked down her nose at us. An exchange consisting roughly of, " you’re kidding me" ensued, followed by the lass mysteriously finding us a room. A room at £120!!! Stuck with the choice of heading back out into the rapidly dropping temperature and snow, or being ripped off, we chose ripped off! As we hit the bar I saw someone else who was due to be on our flight… who had secured a room here (Crowne Plaza Liverpool Airport (not Crown) for the search engines and review seekers!) for £69. Really not amused now!
So, bar done, we headed to our room and watched some footy, then slept. Next day, reports from all over the country came in. 16inches of snow in some places, -21c temps… and I knew the plane was never going to go, especially as we’d taken an afternoon replacement instead of an evening one. Time passed, and at about 12 mid day we were told yup, flight was never going to go, and we could do the same as yesterday, transfer the flight, or try and get home another way and they would reimburse us for the costs. As it happened I had my thinking head on, and had a shufti at the National Express site, which said coaches to Amsterdam were still running. All ways round we couldn’t stay stuck at the airport, and there was no affording another night in the Crowne Plaza! We decided to take our chances. taxi’s had begun to run again and eventually, after a 40 min wait in the blistering cold, it was off to Liverpool!
First things first. Food and Drinks. Time to think, and to plan. Having badgered a person for the directions to the coach station I set off leaving Es in the pub to see if there were still seats available, only to be thwarted by ice. The coach station was up hill… and I literally took 3 steps forward, then slid 5 steps back on the ice. Mildly embarrassed I had to turn tail, and came back to Es to tell her I was stuck and needed help! lol Oh dear. Suffice to say we got there in the end, and the coach was indeed running, leaving at 11.35pm that night!! So.. a day stuck in Liverpool, which was basically a ghost town as no traffic, and no person, could really move without risking life and limb. In the end we killed time by grabbing an indian, watching a decent film in the cinema, and sitting in the pub right by the coach station!
The road trip back was actually quite doable. Grabbed a beer in Brussels, and got off at Den Haag, landing home at an almost decent time. All in all i think enough was done to put Es off the UK for good, but i think she saw a side of me which possibly made her realise quite what i’m made of, and how I deal with things. Cool. Calm. Collected. It’s something which I do tend to pride myself on, and oddly, the exact opposite is expected from me from family, which I suspect says more about them than me.
And so we are home. I was having issues with some things over here before we went away. People attitudes. My own attitude. I was making "friends" for the sake of making friends. People who I’d not normally be associated with, or rather, spend time with, were becoming people I did both with. I hit breaking point a few days before heading to the UK with a few of them, walking out of the pub which I had been asked to go down to, not because they wanted me there, but because I had a lead to link a pc to a tv. The story needs not be repeated here, but I’d had enough. Walked away as I do, rather than really lose my temper. but now I’m home again, and I can’t help but think that things are wrong in some way here. We went over to the UK for a holiday as such, and went out of an evening for a chat and a laugh and a drink with people. So basically… what used to be the leisure part of my life, my time to let off steam after work etc, is now classed as a holiday. And as if to rub it in, we went into town yesterday for a couple of hours, had 3 beers and a coke, and it totaled €27+ which I find obscene! Es earns a stupid amount of money for a 4 day week job, but yet we honestly can’t even afford to go out once a week! And if we DID go out, she has no circle of friends to go out with, and to be fair neither have I so where would we go? And besides that, even if we could afford it, I’d spend too much time moaning about €5 pints to have fun most of the time.. lol. There is nothing social at all about Holland in my experience over 3 years of exposure. It would be far easier to hate the "culture" here than to ever love it. Instead I put effort into remaining disapprovingly indifferent. And then I read this as I write it and hope I can maintain that self control. I don’t hate it here. I do however, hate certain aspects, and I think what really really makes this hard to deal with, is not my opinions about those aspects, it’s the indigenous people’s complete acceptance of those aspects as the norm!
Chuckles… so I was late with this blog. I think size wise I made up for it. Speaking of size, I remain under 12 stone! Now that at least is one goal reached. Always good to end on a positive!