Existing Member?

You Can't Ride Around With A Tiger On Your Bike One man-cub, one motorbike. And a tiger-striped poncho, just in case.

North by Northwest

UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 12 October 2011 | Views [442] | Comments [1]

First night, spent up in the forest around Kendal, in the Lakes District

First night, spent up in the forest around Kendal, in the Lakes District

"No. No, Mother, I have not been drinking. No. No. These two men, they poured a whole bottle of bourbon into me. No, they didn't give me a chaser." Cary Grant, North by Northwest

I don't know whether it's the copious amounts of alcohol I've been consuming, or my furry hat muffling my thoughts, or perhaps that nothing notable has happened this past week, but I can't seem to think of anything to write about. I've found that when you haf writers block, it helps to just write anything, anything at all and eventually something decent will flow forth. Shiv-ing this keyboard in the spleen with a sharpened toothbrush, DIE DAMN YOU! Hmmm... I have the bike, I have a rough plan to head north (is it north or North wif a capital N?) and discover more of this fascinating country, I have some pot noodle and a jailbroken iPhone with half the world mapped onto it by a genius computer dude I met in Middleton Cheney (hey Jamie, ta Jamie, it's bangin', proper lush innit, yeah boiii!) and his barcat Misty (hey Mistykins, meow meow meow innit) but once I hit the road it all becomes kind of... I dunno, it feels the destination is the important bit and the traveling there is just filler. If I can't change my frame of mind, this journey ain't gonna last...

So. Taking the bike back to Middleton Cheney for its first service. 600 and something kilometers on the cock. Haha. Clock. It'll get an oil change, filter change, make sure everything is tight like a tiger. Toit. Ooh, London, while I'm going up to Middleton I may as well take an ever-so-slight detour for a few hours and catch up wif my lovely new friends in the capital. Just for a few hours. As the traffic in London is nuts, ordered insanity, I parked the bike at a train station and caught the overland train to London-Marleybone station and caught the Tube over to Kings Cross. Met Megan, my favorite (uhhh careful with your words here Will) female-Canadian-brunette-met in London at Clink78 hostel-friend and went out for one pint, JUST ONE WILL, FOCUS! Because you haf to catch the train back in an hour and a half so you don't arrive at Middleton Cheney in the dark!

So anywho, I hung out with dear Megs for an hour, then ran into dear Aleks (favorite and only Switzerlander I know) and dear Sean (favorite and only Californicator I know) and dear Ella (favorite Aussie-living-in-London-that-I've-met-so-far except for myself perhaps) and dear dear Didrik (I forget where he's from, he fancies himself from Dublin in Ireland, just picture a handsomer Dylan Moran, like if Moran was a musketeer, that's Didrik) and having met them all I had to stay for another pint, just one Will, focus! Ahh fuck, Sean's leaving for Paris soon so I'll have another for Sean. Ahh drat, can't have an odd number of pints, it's bad luck. Four pints of cider-y yummness and five or so hours later than the latest I said I could stay, and I hopped on the tube (felt like Jack Sparrow, I only swayed unsteadily when the tube was stationary) to the train station to retrieve my bike. Hungry hungry hippo, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to chow on a quarter-pounder from McDonalds (or is it a Royale wif cheese..? No, that's Europe. "You know why they call it that? Because of the metric system? Check out the big brain on Brett! You're a smart motherf*cker!") while waiting for the train. Wrong! This country can't McDonald worth a damn, it can't Burger King properly either. I had half of it, an.. errm... eighth-pounder..? And felt ill. Threw up on the train ride back to my bike, lucky these overlanders have toilets. Comfy trains actually, television screens in the headrests and all. It was a long enough journey back so I managed to nap and felt much more better when I arrived in whatever town I left my bike at. So hard remembering these town/village names, why can't they haf proper names like Coolangatta or Perth? Nup, it's gotta be Barrow In Furnace, or Swadlincotelton or Gloucestershiresharrr-peh. Cough.

Riding back in the dark, it must have been ten-thirty at night instead of four in the p.m like I planned, but this wasn't a bad thing, on the contrary I quite enjoy being the only vehicle out on the road (especially since I can only travel 40mph. Ooh I can't wait for the day I get to overtake something!), the wind in my fur, the thing in my whatever. It was nice. Hit Middleton Cheney after one in the morning just as it began to rain. I hadn't booked a spot at the camping ground behind the motorcycle shop because I assumed I'd be back before the owners were doing whatever it is they do after midnight. Toyed with the idea of setting up camp in the old graveyard of the church in town. Is that wrong of me? I thought it would haf been a brilliant idea. But no, I decided to do the boring thing and set up in the camping ground. Figured I'd pay them in the morning, it's not the first time I've done that. It's hard putting up a tent in the rain, mostly because you have to try and keep the inside dry, which means you have to take your wet stuff off outside while staying dry yourself, which is impossible. Extra towels. It doesn't matter too much, because in the morning there's always water on the inside from condensation. It's science kids, goggle it on your internets.

In the morning, late morning (why does my head hurt so much-oh right, drinking) I left my desert-camo darling in my mechanic David Angels capable mitts and went to my favorite pub in England (but not the world, I've yet to go there) to have a hair-of-dog before going back. Back where? BACK! TO THE FUTURE!

Nah. London. I had to HAD TO have one last proper night out there before I headed up to Scotland. Or maybe west to Ireland. So many options. Back on ze train, chugga-chugga-whoo-whooo, no it wasn't a steam train, but that would've been more fun, no it wouldn't because I needed to charge my iPhone and these new-fangled locomotives haf power ports. London, yaaaay. Went to book a place for the night at my favorite backpackers hostel EVER (guaranteed, nothing could possibly top the Clink) but alas, they were fully booked. Bastards, I hate them! Tried Travelodge down the road, but I didn't haf £77 to spare on a room, tried the Keystone Hostel further down but they were fully booked, tried another one, same story, bastards, and finally gave Clinks dirtier sister Clink 150-something a try but fully booked as well. Foul venereal disease carrying whore. Meh, the God of adventure will be kind to me. Priorities first. DRINKY DRINKS WIF PALS!

Met up outside Clink78, bastards, there was a pub (and still is I think), The Carpenters, just opposite bastards78. Not long after, there was a commotion down the street, some nob-jockey had run out of the hostel with a laptop and iPhone he'd nicked from the internets room. What a nob. He was brought to the ground by a few undercover cops who were eating a kebab just down the street, and a whole bunch of pedestrians pounced on him as well. STACKS ON! Honestly, who steals from an ex-courthouse next to a present-Police-station? Gosh. Idiot. We walked over and it turns out he'd tried to steal Didriks' computer. He got it back, and the nob got charged with thievery. "I grabbed the wrong computer, I swear, it was a mistake!" Hahaha. Nob. This was a good enough excuse for us to drink, not that I've ever needed one before. Ended up back at the Clink later that night, dancing like solid gold dancers. T'was a great night.

Oh yeah, no place for me to sleep. Nooooo!! Megan the Canadan (Canadan? Canadian?) was super-kind and organised for me to crash at her place with housemate Jazz, up in Greenwich. Or Grenich, or Greenwitch, whatever. Just a short tuberide/busride out to zone 2 of London. The O2 Stadium. Pointy. Got woken up by two adorable British Staffy dogs growling and scratching outside the door. Never been a fan of them in Australia, they're scary in Oz, but I think they're quite brilliant now. One of them could say please and yum yum yum, and roll and spin on command, t'was brilliant! Cheese sammich and a pint of cider for brektus and it was back to pick up my bike in Middleton and get tickets to the music festival in Banbury, the Banbury Folk Festival. In Banbury.

Bike was fine, no problems found, and I was blessed to be offered accommodation by Holly and Luke, two lovely musos who were headlining the festival on Friday. In Banbury. Banbury Folk Festival. I love couch-surfing. It's safe, because I can't swim. I can't jump either, there's an interesting fact. Making both feet leave the ground simultaneously is a really difficult task for me. I just take huge steps instead. This was to be a weekend of wine, yay! Cab sav, port, sloe wine, fruit wine, fantastic! But not as much music as I had planned, I made it to the Friday gig which was brilliant. Alas, Luke & Hollys band was on at the same time as AHAB, another great band who were and possibly still are quite famous in the area, so I missed out on AHAB and they stole some of our crowd. Meh, was a good night nontheless, super-hungover the next day so ended up kipping constantly til the evening and staying in with Holly & Luke, chowing on some incredible vegetarian curry and drinking port outside while watching the meteor shower. I think I may've seen just the one actual meteor though, the other six were planes.

I've noticed in England, the sky is always full of vapor trails from high-flying jets (it's science kids, goggle it on your internets), criss-crossing and sometimes spelling words like 'I'... The air is also full of pretty glimmery gossamer spidew webs, floating gently on the breeze like silver beams of moonli-FUCK I HATE SPIDERS! >_< I'm really lucky the weather has been so nice these past couple of weeks. I can't imagine the cold would be that bad, I've prepared for it quite thoroughtly, packing all my snowboarding gear as well as thermal stuff and fluffy things. Not too long to go before the winter hits hard, especially since I'll be heading North on Monday.

Spent Sunday sleeping as well, Holly, Luke & myself were pretty worn from all the wine. Missed out on the Sunday sessions of the music festival in Banbury (the Banbury Folk Festival), but we tried to make in, all piling onto my bike (Holly in the sidecar with my flying bear hat and goggles hehe) and cruising into town. Gosh it's so much fun when I haf pillion passengers, the bike handles a lot differently, it's more grounded, except for a few times I took some left turns at speed on purpose and raised the sidecar off the ground, wheeee! Throwing my weight left brought it back down. Can't wait to be practiced enough to do it at every corner, it's super-fun! The festival was over by 7pm (the Banbury Fo-aaaah shut up Will) so we went to a really nice pub close by, The Reindeer Games, or something, and had ummm more wine, fruity yummy sloe-y wine. Then it was back to The New Inn in Middleton Cheney to meet another friend of theirs, Nick the assistant-photographer, and we had more drinks, then home for more curry and wine and ooh they haf absynthe hmmm...

Monday. Four Nurofen taken with the rest of the wine. Kicking myself for having somehow managed to smoke five pouches of my Australian Port Royal tobacco in only a month (to be fair I did accidentally lose half of one somewhere, I gave some to Jamie as payment for jailbreaking my iPhone (hahaha sucker!)) I headed into Banbury to refuel the bike for my trip up north, visit a tobacconist (mmm cinnamon tobacco, mmm cherry brandy tobacco, I wish I'd brought my pipe. And knew how to use it) and change my STUPID VODAFONE PREPAID! So expensive, I spend ten quid a week and I hardly text or call anyone! (It is purdy expensive texting dear Melissa in the Solomon Islands though, GET INTERNETS AT HOME, WOMAN!) I changed to some free text-y internetty thingy. Happy now, if slightly hung to the over, for shizzle. Dawg.

I miss my dog Elliott! Aww :(

NORTH! I've been recommended to go to York by Holly, it's supposed to be super-pretty. I was recommended against this because I was camping and York is apparently pikey-central. They'll nick anything if it ain't tied down. Is it racist to say that about pikeys? Are they a race? I wanna meet one in real life, but a little one that can't lift my stuff. So I'll head northwest, up to the Lake District, a little town called Kendal (my middle name is Kendall, wow. How about that..No, wait, it's Kendell wif an e, ay) because it's super-pretty up there. Lakes and forests and most importantly, lots of camping! Yayahh! Really excited to be hitting the road again, BAM! My bike is fully serviced and ready to go, but it has to be back by around 2500-3000 kiloeters for its second service.

In any song with the word baby in it, change the word 'baby' with 'matey' to pirate-ise it. Loads of fun. Hit me matey, one last time. Arr.

Bye Middleton Cheney, and all the lovely people in it, I'll be back in a month or there abouts, then haf to get a job for a bit before Europe. Sigh. The road awaits.

I'll be heading into Shakespeare country on the way, so.. ACTING!

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more, or close the wall up with our English dead." King Henry V




Absolutley (vodka?) hilarious! I'm really enjoying reading your journal and wish I could join you in the side car for one day at least! Keep up the updates...don't worry about running in the motor them ruskis engines will be fine. oh and I think you can notice your 'accent' in your writing has changed to a wee bit English, I must say...nooo please don't come back speaking like that! take care bro Will!

  Pece man of the ski Oct 22, 2011 5:53 PM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.



Travel Answers about United Kingdom

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.