Day 89: The Shipping News

30.03.09:

I’m still on the train at the moment; it’s a 20 hour journey. Looking out of the window, it’s like I’ve stumbled into Narnia. I almost expect a White Witch to turn up and offer me some Turkish Delight. I don’t even like Turkish Delight, but if it meant we got to kill that bloody sanctimonious lion again, I’d take it. Mount his silly head on the wall of my hunting lodge. Tee hee.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say it that it is COLD. Bloody cold. Outside is miles and miles of pure white snow, which is being dusted by yet more snow flitting about like the fairies of Dingly Dell. Cars with chains on tyres drive alongside, but, unlike the locals, I can’t tell where the road ends and the fields begin. Even the trees look cold, like they’re huddling together to keep warm. I can almost hear them muttering to themselves “bloomin’ weather”.

It’s all, of course, quite exquisitely beautiful, a picture postcard of winter that stretches for hundreds of miles, and it’s making me not feel as bad about missing the snow in Britain this February. I mean, it’s blowing a blizzard out there! This is the real deal baby. Oh yeah!

So my train gets in at 4.20pm. My brother Alex is desperately attempting to get me on the Hapag-Lloyd container boat that leaves today for Liverpool, so fingers crossed for that. At the moment, I’m just worried by the fact I don’t have a big thick coat or a woolly hat.

A little later…

I’ve run out of camcorder tape, so I just ran PELL MELL off the train when it stopped for 15 minutes in a town called Moncton. There is a BLIZZARD blowing outside, but I braved the elements (and almost certain slippery doom on the snow) to get to a shopping mall not far from the train station. But Jabba No Barda. Bah! I ran back and just about made it, covered from head to toe in white snowflakes sans tape. Hope there’s somewhere that sells tapes is open in Halifax when I get there, or this trans-Atlantic passage might be one of written blog and dubious anecdotes.

Even more laterish…

Bah! It turns out that my heroic slam fight dunkin’ rush up to jolly old Halifax was all for naught. The chaps at Hapag Lloyd haven’t got back to us like that girl you gave your number to last night and so now I’m sitting (chattering teeth) in the Halifax Backpackers (the difference, if you’re interested, between Backpackers and Youth Hostels is that Backpackers are not run by the illegitimate hellspawn of Basil Fawlty and Hitler. Which means that you can LEAVE WHEN THE HELL YOU LIKE without incurring some kind of plenty like you’re somehow found yourself teetering to the left of the slippery log on Junior Kick Start).

Anyways, so I’ve met up with a rather fetching German chick called Patricia, an Aussie chef called Toby, another German called Joseph who has big holes in his earlobes, and a lovely Canadian chap named Travis.

Now, so Travis invited us along to an open mic night that was being held in somebody’s front living room. And if you’re like me, THAT SOUNDS ACE. If you’re not like me, you can go stand bored stupid in your overpriced chrome-and-wood monstrosity that insults the name of the Great British Tavern staring at the wall while fat orange girls bump past you and spill beer on your pastel-coloured Ben Sherman shirt as you wonder why there are no seats, no dance floor AND THE MUSIC IS TOO DAMN LOUD TO HEAR YOURSELF THINK, NEVER MIND DISCUSS THE LATEST INTERESTING CELEBRITY DEATH.

And then you remember that everyone else in the room is on cocaine and therefore this formulaic Friday night fart-fest must seem novel and new to the last few brain cells that remain tossing globs synaptic activity like a game of Pong being played in Bullet Speed. Bah!

Sorry, went off on one there, didn’t I?

Well tough, this is MY blog and I can say what I like. Especially now that my contract has come through from Lonely Planet ,which officially means that I’ve GOT MY OWN TELLY SHOW NOW.

That’s right, I’ve joined the ranks of luminaries such as Peaches Geldolf, Paris Hilton and the late Jade Goody and it also means I get to prat about for half an hour like the annoying loud ADHD ginger kid who interrupted every lesson with his incessant unfunny, unimpressive mind-chunder, WHEN YOU WERE JUST TRYING TO LEARN, DAGNAMIT. And this time, Mr. Row cannot stop me.

Woohahahahahaha.

Incidentally, does anybody know when exactly ADD went HD? I was lucky. I came from a time before ADD (and ADHD) when all my boyish energy and exuberance was blamed fairly (and squarely) on the doorstep of me EATING Monster Munch.

Which is the equivalent of blaming Doctor Harold Shipman’s actions on a wet cucumber sandwich he bought from the Shell Garage one afternoon.

Did I mention I’VE GOT MY OWN TELLY SHOW NOW?

Good. Well, anyway, as you probably guess I left the other chaps in the Backpackers and set out with the hot German chick to scavenge for pizza and beer in the snow (did I mention Halifax closes earlier than a Post Office on Christmas Day?) before turning up at aforementioned house party/open mic night AND A GOOD TIME WAS HAD BY ALL.

And by that, friends of Mandy, I mean that the music and atmosphere was jolly good (I know what you’re thinking, you curs) and it’s such a great idea that I will be instituting it when I eventually settle down in Liverbourne some time in the not too distant (ie. if he survives Somalia) future.

Right?

Right.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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