So far today: dozed intermittently in Seat 74A, watched Brave, episodes of House, fell asleep during the Matrix. Helped a woman search for her wedding ring. Actually impressed by albums filed under ‘Alternative’. Dozed. Mulled over the significance of the cheese and ham bun served between midnight dinner and dawn breakfast.
Arrived Heathrow. Reminded of hospital. Walked into the Something to Declare Hall to find myself only living soul. Eventually let self off with stern warning, ignored giant sign not to proceed, found a guard through exit, agreed that if no one’s there then no one is, indeed, there. Enjoyed utter silence of morning rush hour on the Underground.
King’s Cross Station. Tried to wake up with an English breakfast at Giraffe Stop. Regretted having said yes to my sister’s vast collection of British coins. Found toilets, joined queue, used coins to get past turnstile. Decided sister is tops. Printed out small deck of cards from the machine for two train trips, joined stampede when platform announced 15 min prior to departure. Chatted with Robert the American about Iraqi students, casus belli, his photos of English flowers, getting old. Explained steampunk, promised to visit British Library.
Said goodbye, switched to railcar. Stepped off railcar in historical town of Lincoln. Wandered down crowded High St. Wondered why I packed warm clothes. Sat by narrow canal (well-stocked with swans) to examine map. Took off jacket. Ate last banana, listened to a war veteran sing about West Virginia, a group of hooded youths discuss the ethics of bashing people in chinos–even if they might be nice people. Ate an apple, slowly, aware I should have transcribed dialogue instead. Felt glad to be wearing jeans.
Put my backpack on. Walked over the canal, past the Walkabout Australian bar. Thought Steep Hill was particularly steep and particularly quaint. Discover it was a Roman route awarded “Britain’s Best Street 2012” by the Academy of Urbanism. For real. Spot my first steampunk. Arrive top of Castle Hill to find real castle, cathedral. Information centre proves informative: I book the last available room in town. Lucky. An attic with windows opening on mossy tiles. I’m alive in England. Now: Weekend at the Asylum begins.
Time for a pint at Victoria Inn.