diamond geezer

 Monday, March 19, 2018

I'm on holiday. I don't go on holiday very often.

More to the point I'm on holiday by myself. I never go on holiday by myself, so this is a big deal.

I do go on holiday with friends occasionally. Last year I went to Newcastle and the Isle of Wight, in 2015 to Berlin and Rome, in 2014 to the Isle of Man and in 2011 to Iceland. But I never go on holiday by myself, even though I obviously could.

I do go on a heck of a lot of day trips. You've probably noticed. Some of those day trips are quite long, like to Lake Windermere or Belgium and back, and most people would probably add an overnight stay. But I don't much like hotels, and solo breakfasts, and all that dead time in the evening, nor do I enjoy having luggage to lug around.

But on this occasion I've taken the plunge and gone away by myself. It's not a full week, just an extra-long weekend, but still very much out of character. I've not gone abroad or anything, I'm still in the country, but hey, it's a good start.

Solo breakfasting turned out to be OK, because the food's generic, so they're relatively quick. But the evening dining was a little more uncomfortable, thanks to those regular pauses in the ordering process where nothing happens. They're easily filled in company, with conversation, but alone they're quite awkward, and getting your phone out always looks gauche.

I booked my trip a few months ago, when some ridiculously cheap rail tickets became available. Given the distance from home I decided that a few nights away would be the best way to take advantage. Two travelling days with two sightseeing days inbetween seemed the way to go, so I booked, and here I am.

I could have picked January or February, but they sounded potentially cold. The train deal didn't let me book anything over Easter or later, so I plumped for the middle of March. The worst of the winter will be over by then, I thought, and I might even get some decent weather.

Instead, of course, I accidentally got The Beast From The East Part Two. Friday was fine, but Saturday was wet and nippy, and Sunday delivered actual snow. I wasn't expecting to have to pack a pullover and gloves, not when I booked, but alas they've proved invaluable.

Locals were unconvinced the snow would arrive. "It won't come to that," said the ladies at the museum. "It won't get this far," said the man at the shop. But arrive it did, and I duly battled 4 miles back to my accommodation in a blizzard, just as the forecast predicted.

On the bright side, it's not been as bad here as it has been in London. We even had some sunshine while you were getting snowflakes, so perhaps I dodged a bullet. But I did have to scrap some of my plans because I couldn't rely on public transport holding out, which is annoying given I may never come back.

Now that I'm preparing to come home, of course, the weather is getting better. It seems I could hardly have picked a worse window for my trip if I'd tried, but these are the perils of booking in advance. Sometimes you get gloriously atypical sunshine and warmth, and sometimes the atmosphere gangs up and throws everything at you.

Obviously it's been an excellent holiday. I fear I shall be telling you all about it very soon.


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