Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Drivin' home for... Easter?

Well, I didn't drive exactly, public transport had to suffice. This is my first (successful) trip home since Christmas, and one that's been waiting to happen for some time. A fairly late decision, I also have a female guest coming to stay with me over the Easter weekend. Hamlet, also lovingly known as 'Fatty' or 'Ham', is a wonderfully daft and stunningly cute hamster, and would be residing on my desk for the next few days, helping me gorge on what Easter treats came my way.
It's the Thursday night that I decide to jump the strenuous one-hour train back from Bangor. After a somewhat traumatic departure from the station bench for Hamlet, leaving half her sawdust and food on the platform, the rest of the journey goes fairly hassle-free. Unfortunately for my wallet, I look slightly less inconspicuous with a hamster cage on my lap. Good job it's pay day...
As always, I managed to find myself a window seat on the platform side of the train; on the coastal side of the train. Thanks to the clock changes last week, my views were glorious all the way from Bangor to Flint; with the exception of Rhyl, though I don't think anyone could argue with me there. Along with iPod accompaniment, it was a pretty decent journey as far as train travel goes.
My Dad was there to pick me up from Flint station. First impressions on my companion: 'She doesn't half smell...' I'm not sure what Fatty thought of our bumpy, winding country roads. She wasn't used to such torture having only really travelled by train or dual carriageway before. She was still alive by the time we arrived home though, so all was good.
Mother Dearest, being motherly and all that, couldn't help but open the door in expectation of greeting her only - and therefore, favourite - son's arrival. As soon as I walked in the door, I felt as if I had never left for uni. It was exactly as I remembered leaving it after Christmas, apart from the obvious lack of small conifers and tinsel. The only change to my bedroom was my post: my Brand New 'The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me' LP and a pair of gig tickets.
First job of the day: fix the printer. I swear they only get me back here to serve as their IT consultant. Two weeks ago, I'd told them 'Just put the disc in the laptop, it'll tell you what to do.' Urrghh.
Friday. Sorry, Good Friday. I had one plan for this day: pub. Until then, the day was to be wasted in whatever way I saw fit. Turned out that meant sleeping till 2, watching Supernatural IN bed until 5, then getting ready and walking down to Mold for 7. Who needs a car, right? It's only four miles. Shorter if you know the back lanes! And at my pace, I was at Andy's house in 35 minutes.
Andy is my best mate of a good nine years, though I've known him since Beaver Scouts when I was 5 or 6. Now in Reading doing Quantity Surveying (counting bricks, apparently) I don't get to see very much of him at all. Every time I see him nowadays, he's looking slightly more dapper every time.. The doing of all the 'toffs' down South, I believe.
One picked up, we head into town for the usual - Beer & Burger in Wetherspoon's. It didn't disappoint. Rob would later meet us for a few rounds, though not too many for himself due to a somewhat heavy night in Chester the previous eve. Apparently, supposedly 'sporty' Rob now smokes! SHOCK! HORROR! Good to know I'm not the only one though..
I'd ordered my taxi for 12:30 - not too early, not too late. That's how I roll.. I can honestly say I've never had such an intellectual conversation with a cab driver. In the short 10 minute drive, I'd been given a tip as to where I could apply for summer voluntary work in wildlife conservation, just down the road in Rhydymwyn. Apparently this guy's cousin was an Ocean Scientist of some description, and had been based in Antarctica for the last three months doing work with ice cores - exactly what I'd been learning about this semester in Bangor! Small world, Mold.
Thankfully my sister, Sarah, was on the computer in the study, as the front door key hadn't been left under the mat as had been arranged.. BREAD! Bread bread bread. Bed.
Saturday, and it's afternoon again before I rise. Soon as I do, it's Tesco time - Easter egg time! It's a pretty good haul this year - now that Sarah has followed my legacy of working in McDonald's, she too is treating the family at this time of giving. NOM NOM NOM.
The only other afternoon activity involves carrying a shed a few yards and converting to a chicken coop. Riveting.
On Sunday, I wonder what I managed to dwindle away Saturday doing. This evening, I'm treating the family to my, and I quote, 'awesome' pasta bake. I couldn't find my usual choice of pasta sauce - Ragu - in Tesco, settling instead for Dolmio. I'm doing my speciality - quorn and pea. I may have slightly burnt the cheese on top, but I put that down to lack of experience with the oven in question. Dolmio proved a great success, the only cock-up being my Dad spilling some sauce on Mother Dearests WHITE settee cover. Janet ti'n DDIM HAPUS efo Wyn!
Another evening of Supernatural ensues, fueled by yet more Easter egg. Two seasons in a week ain't bad going...
Bank Holiday Monday. The very thought of the possible train congestion puts me off travelling back to Bangor today. Instead I spend the day watching MORE Supernatural and eating mini eggs. Hamlet profited from the Easter egg tradition, finding herself a shiny new Creme Egg box to live in. Today she also went mental on her water bottle, soaking herself and my external harddrive. Crazy bitch...
Tuesday = BANGOR! Hurrahh! Instead of the 10:39 from Flint I end up missing each and every hourly train until 4:39 - one due to a slow tractor, the rest due to sleeping late. We're greeted at the station by rain and wind. I don't really know why I was surprised at the typical Welsh weather, but it somewhat dampened my enthusiasm for the place. This wasn't much helped by the 20-minute walk home, but it was soon relinquished by my house mate Will bounding down the stairs as I walked in.
I was back, my home away from home, though it feels more like my real home than anywhere else.

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