Chris and I, although going to different final locations were catching the same train. Well same two trains. Oxford isn’t on the main London-Cardiff line so we had to catch a 5 minute train to get to this line. It was really good having Chris there, for the one day I didn’t have to think about my transport, I just had to do what I was told and get on the right train.
After the 5 minute ride to the main line we had to wait almost half an hour as the train was delayed, I was informed that this was a common occurance up here. The train was delayed because another train had broken down. So the passengers from this train needed to swap onto the one we were after. The result being that the one we caught was absolutely packed. We were lucky to get a seat but many people huddled in between the entrances and the over packed luggage storage area.
The train ride was pretty uneventful. Except for it being crowded with AJ’s who I guessed were heading home for leave. Really young guys too, with too much liquer in there bellies. One group started singing “stand by me” the worst rendition ever, and then another group half way up the bus joined in. This turned into some friendly banter. They were pretty quick too. One accusing the others of being “sheep shaggers” the response being “You keep talking like that mate and I’ll shag you” of which the retort was “Is that a promise?” most of the carraige, except the poor old lady sitting beside me found this quite amusing.
Chris got off at Newport just outside Cardiff to catch a connecting train, the first of which he was too late for, back to his home town in the Valley. And I went onto Cardiff.
Here I met Mikey, my next host. We went via a cash machine to a local and settled into a pint of Guinness. Mikey’s an apprentice at the moment, the exact type I’m not sure, he works primarily on Industrial power sites but it’s a little bit of a cross between a sparky and a boiler maker…. I think.
Over here the Friday before Christmas is known as ‘black Friday’. And traditionally it’s a day where all the local builders and blue collar workers go out on the turps together. As a result the place we were in pretty quickly filled up with drunken builders singing ‘you’ve lost that loving feeling’ the top gun classic. We decided to bail as we could hardly hear ourselves think.
The walk back to mikey’s only took about 20 minutes and he semi stunned me for a second when he said “I’ve got a confession”… I knew he lived with a couple, Kez and Mia. I thought he was going to tell me they were a lesbian couple, which I wouldn’t have cared about but this wasn’t the case.
“My house mates don’t know about couch surfing. They’re great people but just a little conservative so I told them you’re a friend of a friend”. I thought this was hilarious, and we spent the next 5 minutes working on my cover story. Apparently I’d met a dude called Barney in Melbourne and also met up with him when I was in Barcelona last month. Barney is also a mate of Mikey’s and that’s how I got in touch. I’m not even really sure if Barney is actually a friend of Mikey’s or not. I guess it doesn’t really matter.
At mikey’s we got into a few beers and settled down to watch “the hangover” mikey himself had had a big one the night before so It seemed quite appropriate.
I also met the rest of his housemates. First it was the Guy, Kez, whose parents had stolen the name from a character in a book. And later his girlfriend Mia came home from work. She’s a mid wife. A small red head a bit rough round the edges just like a country girl back home. She was talking about delivering a baby that day. “There was so much blood I had to wear a full gown over my top to make sure I got none on me”. and then while scratching at something on her pants “actually I did get a little placenta on my pants”. Haha that fully grossed me out.
There was also one of Mikey’s friends there. A guy called Timbo. He was on his way from Swansey home when he’d lost his ticket so they kicked him off at Cardiff and he just showed up on there doorstep.
They were all really short people, and pretty funny. Timbo was like “Man you must feel like a giant in this house, can you like cut down trees with your hands?” haha, I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or insulted.
Another funny story mia was talking about was a red headed mother who had a heart condition as did the child, but the first thing she said after giving birth and seeing the child was “oh thank got it’s not a Ginge.”
We also got out Mia’s blood pressure checker thingy. Usually when I get mine done coz I’m tall and (Usually) fit it’s really low. However this time Mia said it was at the high end of the normal range… another result of the last 4 and a bit months.
At one point during the night Timbo goes “Hey check this out” he then pulled out a half knitted scarf that he’d been working on. His plan being to eventually be able to make a beanie and scarf in one. He’s such a random dude.
This morn I woke up at 0930. I didn’t feel like sleeping but was really struggling to wake up. My eyes seemed so heavy. The original plan was to go for a run but I figured I should get out and explore wales before It starts getting dark or starts raining. So I packed up my bed put some clothes on and neatened my stuff before heading out the door.
I went to turn the door handle it was locked and there was no key in it. Timbo and I spent 5 minutes looking around the lounge room but had no luck. So after waking Mikey from his slumber he joined our search. 5 minutes later we found the individual key on a carrabeaner and Mikey let me out.
The walk into town was freezing. I had my gloves on but it was fresh. Walking along I had to be carefull not to step on the puddles which had frozen solid. One puddle I found was quite deep and I walked on it as the cracks shot alont the entirety of the solid water. I started jumping on it and pretty soon it broke properly. The ice was a good 15mm thick.
I walked into town through the park which was really, really beautiful being covered in a light frost. I walked down and around the castle. The castle’s pretty cool with a small creek still making up part of the old moat. Sections of this creek were frozen over too. Which looked really, really cool.
I spent the next 20 minutes wandering around town. Cardiff is known for it’s arcades and I wandered around getting lost. Finally I ended up where I am now in a star bucks. I’ve quitted my quitting of coffee. I hadn’t had one in 2 days and wasn’t really craving any so I could write off the addiction I’d feared that I’d aquired. So I grabbed a latte and headed upstairs plugged my computer in and buried myself in my diary.
I’m sitting on the bus about to leave for London I got home last night a bit before 430, so like 3 hours ago, hopefully I get some shut eye on the bus. I had great fun yesterday and last night. Definitely a constructive evening that’s for sure.
Yesterday afternoon I was feeling really good. On another state of Euphoria I guess. I just cruised around the city. Bought a jacket to replace the one I’d left in Sheffield. Got a great one for 10 quid. I was pretty happy, and it’s so warm.
After another coffee, actually in the spirit of Christmas I went with a mint hot chocolate, bit of a sugar hit too, I went back to Mikey’s. Here we did a bit of a clean up. The place was a bit of a mess from the previous night. There was beer bottles everywhere.
Next I donned my runners and tights and went out to the back yard. I knew I wasn’t going to get a chance to do any exercise for the next two days so I grabbed the skipping rope and hit the back yard concrete. I hadn’t done any hand stands in ages so I thought I’d give this exercise a crack. I was woeful and almost fell into the fence a few times.
Next on yesterdays itinary was food. I wanted to grab some stuff for lunches over the next couple of days and Mikey was planning on cooking up a storm. After getting back from our second trip to the supermarket Mikey got into the cooking and I settled into nursing a few beers and watching the box.