Week 7 2016: The Week I Went To London, Became Anti-Valentine’s Day and Got the Flu

So I am starting this as I am currently on my way down to London by BUS!!! 9 and a half hours of nothingness but my curiosity got the better of me and being a sucker for a bargain, I can’t complain about paying £28 for a return trip to London from Glasgow.

Although, I very nearly missed my bus even though I had all evening to get ready which sums me up to a tee. My bus was at 11.45pm so I packed my bag that night after I got back from Slimming World – where I lost 6 lbs (just saying) and got the train to Glasgow for 10 pm. I had nearly 2 hours in Glasgow City Centre to kill some time, I couldn’t even sit in a bar because I was sat there in my sweats with my hair up in a bobble looking rather trampy so attending a nice bar for a few cocktails was sadly not a possibility. I ended up going to Sainsbury’s for late-night snacks for my journey and then ended up in a cosy little pub round the corner from the bus station where I had 1 pint and realised I still had an hour to go. At that point, a pretty girl entered the bar with her mum who had come from the an Elvis tribute act. I offered a seat to her mother and ended up having a bit of chat with her daughter. Even though it was a fleeting conversation where we talked about music and she complimented my outfit – even though I was dressed in a large, grey sweatshirt and grey sweatpants she still said she loved my look, whether she was just being kind it’s always nice to get a compliment. SHE EVEN SAID I WAS SUPER COOL?!?! I then realised I only had 30 minutes to get my bus which was based at the far end of the station so I pick up my bags and say my goodbyes, swap contact info with the girl and give out some goodbye hugs and head out the door. I arrive at the station with 10 minutes left to go and realise I had left my bag of snacks in the pub and debated whether I had time to run back and get it, with a laptop in one hand and a heavy holdall on my shoulder I hobbled back to the pub in a panicky mess making a flustered “hi, bye” while I pick up my bag and shuffling back out destroying any sort of “cool” image that pretty girl had of me was pretty much shattered to pieces when I’m sure she realised I am actually a big, awkward mess.The story of my life.

I made the bus with 5 minutes to spare with a weird sense of anxiety taking over as I was going to put my large holdall in the luggage section of the bus in case there were angry luggage goblins lurking under there ready to steal luggage so I brought it on board with me. My inner child came out when I realised I have a full upper deck to myself and a plug socket and a bag of sweets, it was like I having my own one-man slumber party. I  wonder what I could do to pass the time. Could I watch a movie? But I had no wi-fi and no DVD’s with me. Could I speak to my online friends? I don’t like people. I could play a game?! I love games! So I loaded up Football Manager on my laptop and played that for an hour before the hustle and bustle of the previous day had started to kick in and my eyes started to close so I decided to have a sleep. I never had a bed, just 2 chairs but there was no one on the same deck as me so I decided to kick off my shoes and put my feet off and close my eyes. I got woken up when we arrived at Preston with the lights being turned on and a few people to join me on the upper-deck but I still had my full row so I kept my feet up. However, Manchester was a different story. They climbed on board in their hordes making as much noise as possible. I had a crying kid in front of me, a group of teenagers watching videos without headphones behind me and someone had horrendous diarrhoea and I lost my footrest – A 6ft guy is not equipped for that space designated, especially not for over 9 hours of which I had about another 6 hours to go. After that everyone started to settle down and from then on I kept drifting in and out of consciousness, occasionally getting woken up by the sound of kids crying and people eating crisps.

I got into London at around 10.30am and Uber’d it straight to my hotel at Earl’s Court. I arrive there to find out check-in time is at 2 pm. I had over 3 hours in London before I could check in. I had just sat on a bus for over 9 hours. I NEED A SHOWER! I don’t wanna go about sightseeing in one of the fashion capitals of the world. I need a wash and coffee! I then asked the receptionist if I could hide away in the hotel bar, I was rudely disregarded and told there are loads of pubs on the next street. Well, that was my answer. Off I headed out in my very plain sweatshirt-pants combo and my specs to the nearest pub. One ice cold pint of Tennent’s was ordered and I handed the barman a crisp Scottish £10 to which he held it up, squinted his eyes and screwed his face up in confusion before handing it back while saying “I can’t accept this, mate” IT’S LEGAL TENDER, MATE! I then had to use my Royal Bank of SCOTLAND card to pay for it and to add insult to injury he then asked me to take a picture of him and 2 American women who were clearly tourists and wanted that cheesy “we’re barmaids” pose. I decided to head to another pub for another couple of pints before deciding I might as well go and explore and pass some time, before I knew it I was in the middle of Holland Park and dying for a pee and I didn’t know how to get out and I was running about for 10 minutes looking for a toilet, came to the conclusion there wasn’t a toilet to be found and I have to run to the nearest pub, cafe or anywhere with a toilet or even a dark corner. I honestly didn’t care. I managed to get out and I kept running in any direction but in my head I was considering giving up, I was going to pee myself, I tried to find a toilet but I failed. Y’know that way where you actually feel like you are going to pee yourself, well this was it UNTIL I spotted a Costa sign which I assumed was a mirage  but it was not, there was even a sticker that said “automated door” for easier access. I ran straight for it and I’m at the door but the door wouldn’t open even though I’m rattling the door by this point and people are now looking at me like a madman. I then noticed a Hilton Hotel a few doors down and ran in. I MADE IT! I GOT TO A TOILET AND I WAS PEEING! I was never more relieved to pee so I had a few more pints in the hotel to celebrate and set off on my merry way. I then had to work out how to get to the hotel as I had about 30 mins until I could check in and get a nice, warm bath (ideally). I look at my phone map and realised I had been running int he wrong direction and was 40 minutes away from my hotel.

When I arrived at the hotel, I picked up my bags and headed to my room which was pretty much the worst hotel room I’ve ever been in, it was basic with a few white pillows and one weird pee-coloured pillow and a headboard that looked “well used”. You can read about it soon in my review which will be up shortly. I then get told my friend would be arriving at 5 pm so I wouldn’t be attending this event alone. I had 3 hours till she arrived so I sorted out a plan of action:

  1. Get food
  2. Get coffee
  3. Get wi-fi (had to pay for it)
  4. Shower
  5. Eat and drink and watch Family Guy.

So I went and ordered at Gourmet Burger, first time going and it was amazing! I even got this baconnaise sauce. It was the best sauce I’ve ever tasted, chips were a bit crap though. A much-needed white chocolate mocha from Starbucks and headed back all in the space of 5 minutes. I was surrounded by so many food joints  all within 2 minutes of me and being a fat wee boy, it was an amazing feeling.

My friend arrived at the hotel where we had a catch-up before we then headed off to the Saira Shoes event at a bar called Ninety Eight in Shoreditch (which you can read about here)before heading elsewhere. Hitting up a few more cocktail bars and even went to a ping pong bar called Bounce which was an incredibly surreal mix of banging tunes, beer and … balls. After that, we headed to Soho and hit up a few bars there, where the drinks flowed and the tunes played before heading back to the hotel.

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The next morning I awaken from my slumber and treat myself to a much-needed McDonald’s breakfast and TWO white mochas. Sadly, in England people haven’t worked out Irn-Bru is the ultimate hangover cure. I then checked out at 11 and caught my bus at 3 pm. I decided to go and get some food for my journey and a DVD to pass the time as my laptop and my phone will be my only source of entertainment for the next 9 hours. As soon as I was boarded I sat down only to realise there were NO sockets!! Not one! A 9 hour trip with no sort of service to charge my phone nor my laptop. It was awful. I managed to use my laptop to charge my phone via USB where I watched my DVD I had just purchased. I watched 3 quarters of my film and when it was reaching it’s exciting peak my laptop died. The rest of the trip was a snoozefest on seats that were far more uncomfortable than the original journey. The less said about that journey the better especially since I never got in my bed til 1 am and the thought of working at 10 was filling me with fear.

Fast-forward to Valentine’s Day and I woke up to a grand total of… 0 cards or messages. Usually, I might have at least one person I might consider asking to do something, not even a girlfriend but just someone I might even be having an occasional flirt with but this year there’s been no one at all I’ve even had a flirty relationship with. Does this mean I’m an adult now? I just feel as if this year I’ve been too busy with my coursework and stuff to pursue a relationship. I would like to meet someone and enjoy one of those cute relationships but loyalty and personality is so few and far between. I have witnessed far too many relationships being destroyed through infidelity it just kinda puts you off the whole relationship thing. Why be in a relationship if you’re not even going to at least be faithful? I ended up working a 12-6 shift before spending the night with my mum and a Domino’s. Who needs a relationship when you have pizza?!

 

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Scott was my Valentine ❤

 

Apart from that, my week has consisted of catching the flu, drinking endless Lemsip’s and generally dying, the main reason why this is being posted later than usual. I’ve spent it in bed too ill to function.

 

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It is a nasal inhaler, NOT a tampon

 

I also submitted the Planning Stage for my Graded Unit. The second most important part of my educational year and I submitted it. It’s been a bit of a struggle considering we only realised there was a 3,000 word count about a week before it was meant to be submitted and we were at nearly 8,000! The group is alright, I have my friend Jen in my group who is great with the creative side of things and incredibly talented. The other people in my group can be a struggle but occasionally good but I suppose that’s group work for you. Try and ignore others flaws and focus on the positives.

I had so many posts I planned to write last week but illness got the better of me but it still does mean a lot that people even read my diary so thank you if you do read it and enjoy my day to day life.

 

Jay Carrington

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