Straight outta Gorton…

It’s been a while since I blogged last, I have been gathering my motivation to put finger to keyboard. As I am new to this,I have been thinking about what it takes to be a success at this writing lark… I guess alot of what it takes to be a good writer is to be opinionated (check), literate (hmmm kinda check), and confident (DAMN SO CLOSE!). Most importantly is a rampant imagination, and I have to add I have in spades! Sadly I don’t write many of my ideas down, so are lost in the ether, but I believe that, like loving someone, if you set them free and they come back, it was meant to be…..If you set them on fire in your front garden, and they end up pressing charges, then it wasn’t!!!

since we last rendezvous’d I have had a number of interesting experiences, but I shall save those for my next letter home, this post is primarily concerning the returned to England that we made last month. It’s a little lengthy, so forgive me. I’ll understand if you read two paragraphs and think ‘bollocks to that’.

Since we last crossed path’s we have been treated to some harsh home truth’s by the French employment service, We’ve had a hoot of a time at an early bird showing of the latest Bond film and I’ve learned that when desperately seeking a free toilet cubicle ALWAYS check for toilet roll before commencing ones business, especially when the afore mentioned cubicle is in a woman’s toilets. Sadly these are topics for future blog’s (YES REALLY MY LIFE HERE IS THIS DULL, and you thought I’d of learnt to play the accordion and gotten a job as an onion seller by now).

Right, down to business, so to speak…

We start our blog on the 20th of October, myself and Sarah said goodbye to our cat, who had taken on the persona of Jimmy Stewart from the Hitchcock classic ‘Rear Window’ (sans wheelchair) and left our boarding’s in the 17th errondisment to make our way through the city.

Day 1 (Saturday) 20th October.

Our visit home was over 5 days from Saturday to Wednesday of the following week; We set out for Paris Charles De Gaul airport at 5am. Travelling on the underground network underneath the sleeping streets of the French capital.

For those of you that have never travelled on an underground railway, especially the Parisian Metro network, it’s like normal train travel, only all the maps and directions are in an unintelligible dialect, and shortly after leaving the station somebody comes along and paints the windows black, then they stand right next to you, stick their armpit in your face and attempt to get in your shoes, whilst holding a baguette.

Luckily on this occasion it was early morning and there were plenty of seats available, so we sat rocking like Romanian’s to the rhythm of the rails. The train trundled along making sounds as if one, if not ALL the wheels where about to drop off simultaneously, like some form of public clown car. It was during my thought that “why do ALL French men wear pointy shoes” That Sarah informed me to “look around” at the ethnicity of early morning travellers in Paris, she told me that it was an advertisement for what was wrong with the country; Almost all of the passengers in our carriage as well as all the people we encountered on our journey through the underground, were of African decent.

The night shift of Paris was entirely made up from France’s colonial heyday. Whilst the wealthy white Parisian’s slumbered above ground, the subterranean realms were populated by the weary workers of the city.

After braving the scrum of the underground, we finally faced the scramble for seats on the RER train to the airport (RER trains are the double decker trains that connect the city to the suburban sprawl). Upon our trains arrival at the platform, we bustled forward knocking janitors and office cleaners asunder with our tremendously large and bulky suitcases, and claimed a couple of seats.

The journey on the RER can be extremely trying; on our last visit back to England for my Graduation, we had boarded a train at Gare Du Nord, that had so many passengers, you didn’t need to hold onto the handrail, as the shear mass of humanity wedged into the carriage kept everyone upright. It was a Pythonesque journey with a great deal of awkward eye contact and nodding.Upon arrival at stations, there would be minor human eruptions from the carriage onto the platform, before everyone crammed back in to continue their journey.

Sadly on this occasion the train was quiet and seats where readily available, which was a shame as I rather enjoyed the enforced claustrophobia that many Parisian travellers put themselves through but I digress.

We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare, and after some refreshment we made our way to the check in desk. Upon our arrival at the Easy jet desk (oh yes we travel in style) we witnessed a man wearing the newest leather jacket either of us had ever seen, it was literally still mooing,there he stood with his i-pad and his wrinkle-less, pristine jacket  with an extremely proud look on his face. Sadly this was one of those times where your idea of self image did not match up with the reality of the situation. There he stood all proud and shiny and new thinking he looked slick, yet in reality he looked a complete and utter bell end. We laughed about him all the way through check in, we commented that he looked like he had just attacked and skinned a sofa on his latest deep sea diving expedition, but sadly he was on a different flight, and we lost sight of him soon after (I think he was flying on DFS airways!)

After another spectacular example of French racism, from the immigration officials (questioning the African passengers with a passion that the Gestapo would of admired  whilst almost waving the white folks through without checking their passports). I did my small part to even the score when an incredibly vocal pensioner in the cue behind me began making overtly racist comments about a Nigerian family who were having thumb screws administered at the immigration desk, two of the party of Nigerians where the most beautiful infants, a toddler with the bandiest legs I have ever seen, and a four or five year old girl who had spent the previous ten to fifteen minutes trying  to run me over with her hello kitty suitcase. I happily blocked the racist granny from cue jumping on several occasions, I did want to drop her with a right cross, but sadly Sarah said that such action’s would be frowned upon, even if she was a wrinkled up member of the third Reich, so I unclenched my fists and satisfied myself with the odd gentle shoulder barge and the hope that she missed her flight.

Once I had breezed through the security check, and the Alsatians had got tired of biting Sarah, we walked through to the limbo that is the pre-security check area of the airport or as I like to call it “the lounge of the damned!” Here you can buy over priced alcohol to numb the humiliation you are about to submit yourself to, it is a horrible place that is best not to dwell to long in, and this is where my tale of horror truly begins…

Entering the gents toilets, I was over come with a devil may care attitude and I chose to occupy one of the four cubicles rather than standing at the trough, (which I think is like something from the dark ages, the Japanese can have toilets that wash your gentlemen parts whilst playing soothing music, yet we in the west still put up with a trough? It really boggles my brain) sitting there quietly I heard 3 more people enter the toilets, all of which chose the privacy of the cubicles, one of these people for quiet obvious reasons.

As I sat thinking about our trip home and the strange way my life had changed over the last few years, (how I had, had many personal and professional set backs over the years  that had left deep and troubling emotional wound’s in my psyche….Or I could of been wondering why all belly button fluff is grey and stinky) when I was interrupted by what can be best described as a vicious bowl evacuation some 4 0r 5 feet away, it wasn’t so much a bowel movement, more, a bowel removal, it sounded as though in his rush to evacuate his bowel’s he had completely obliterated his anus…(you know like in hannah and barbara cartoon’s when the villain plants a bomb and it ends up exploding in their face leaving him in tatters, well imagine that but with anus’s….lol)

In all my years on earth I have never heard such effort made to take a dump, this guy sounded like he was passing a fridge freezer, through gritted teeth he was grunting and making some horrific noises, I hastened to the sink’s and rushed from the room as quickly as was possible. As I waited outside the toilets for Sarah to exit the ladies, three men came from the gents, one of whom I knew was the phantom shitter, but which one?

I was about to don my detective trench coat and go in search of the brutal bog butcher, when Sarah appeared, so instead I just told her everything and we both pointed and laughed hysterically at the three flustered looking gents dotted around the departures lounge.

After removing most of our clothes to get through the security check I sat and watched with a member of the Easyjet check in team, as Sarah was wrapped in a blanket and beaten with rubber hoses, we were finally there ready to board our flight back to the U.K.

On board our luxurious Easy jet plane, I was treated to further proof that God enjoys a bloody good laugh at my expense, when I was seated in front of a woman, who, for all intents and purposes sounded as though someone had just forced her to have a smoking contest with the Marlboro man, which she had won after his cowboy head exploded. (I briefly thought of blaming Jimmy Saville, as that appeared to be the trend at the time, but when I turned casually to ask her to stop barfing mucus and tar encrusted flem into the back of my hair she looked exactly like the Viz Character Millie Tant, and I thought to myself “Surely even paedo’s have standards?)

Upon landing in Liverpool we disembarked and made our way through immigration (Sarah was only briefly pepper sprayed and tazered) to the baggage claim. The room was almost full when we arrived, so we casually hung back near to the baggage conveyor that wasn’t surrounded by angry looking wazzocks. When the baggage conveyor began, to our amazement, we where the one’s stood in the correct area, and everyone else had to hurry over and jostle for places (why do people do that?) Our bag’s were first out and we plodded off to the car hire…

After exchanging pleasantries with the car hire worker and picking up a car I had never heard of before, we where on our way to Preston.

The plan for Saturday evening was drink’s with friends, but as I had not slept, as well as I didn’t have any friends, we spent Saturday night in front of my mothers ridiculously large T.V. in the company of my eldest brother Mark, who had chosen our viewing for the evening, in the form of Disney’s “John Carter” and ancient Greece’s “Wrath of the Titan’s”…

Now without going too Barry Norman on you all, allow me to briefly outline the premise of these movies, firstly John Carter….. this film was utter pish, a gun slinging adventurer from the wild west is magically transported to Mars to fight for some creatures that look like walking Twiglets, against some invisible evil monk’s that want to dominate the planet using the power of solar bull shit! (couldn’t remember exactly as I must’ve been ‘face palming’ myself when they explained this bit…In the mean while John Carter meets up with the planets pre-eminent scientist who just so happens to be an orange skinned mega breasted woman who both, loves to get her tits out AND is not averse to the idea of marriage? Watching this film was very much like eating red hot broken glass with my ass hole, and the evening didn’t get much better with the second part of the double feature…..

Picture the scene…..It is ancient Greece and the God’s are having a bit of a barny with each other, who should they get to settle the score, why it’s the bloke from Avatar and a load of Home and Away cast off’s, this film made me want to gouge my eye’s out and stand on them! Thankfully I had imbibed a great deal of Grolsch  by this stage and was drifting off to a well earned sleep…..

Day 2 Sunday 21st of October.

Whoever thought that it was a good idea to sleep on my mothers leather couch instead of the air bed they had got out for us was an utter fucking idiot (ME) I awoke crooked, hung over and broken and spent the day visiting various acquaintances, drinking lots of tea and talking toot.

The evening was spent eating pizza in front of my mothers enormous T.V. Hoeslty this thing is HUGE it makes “Deep Thought” the mega computer from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy look like a ZX Spectrum. We watched the BBC’S flagship Animal murdering show “Countryfile” and it was genuinely staggering, I had to resist the urge of putting my foot through the screen and kicking the cheery presenters teeth out on a number of occasion, after the rage abated we went to sleep.

Day 3 Monday 22nd of October (Mum’s Birthday!!!)

After a night of restful sleep (well as restful as you can get on a couch that is so small my ankles dangled off the end of it) We rose bright and breezy and headed out to our local supermarket for much needed supplies, After picking up an enormous black forest gateaux, we visited our local florist to grab my mum a nice bouquet of flowers, this was where Sarah almost came to blows with the florist regarding which flowers she should use, I had to drag her from the shop and tell the florist we would come back to collect the bunch later, it nearly went OFF, it was rather funny.

My plan of a giant cake along with a large bunch of flowers delivered with a card and a kiss from her favourite troubled offspring (see what I did there hehehe) was a master stroke if I do say so myself.

Mum was VERY happy that her son’s had lavished gifts upon her. In the afternoon we had the plan of taking her out for lunch, little did we know, that my mothers birthday coincided with both the global chef conference in Moscow AND the annual kitchen workers union day out to bangor (where else) After visiting a number of establishments and being told in no uncertain terms that the best they had to offer was a bag of crisps, we stumbled upon a gastro pub that served HUMONGOUS meals, Bellies busted we staggered home to digest.

It was at this stage that I got a call asking  if I fancied a round of golf, (“Does the pope shit in the wood’s” I thought to myself) and so there we where playing some seriously awesome golf, unfortunately this being the North West of England it got dark as we tee’d up on the 7th hole, this at first didn’t stop us, however when we found ourselves bumbling around in the pitch black some ten minutes later, we decided to call it a day.

Once I had returned home I remembered I had been invited to the pub to have a couple of quiet drinks with my friend Dean.

Sadly our local pub served Warsteiner so the quiet couple of drinks turned into many MANY drinks followed by some late night toot talking in my friends condo (his shed in the back garden) where I sadly drifted off to sleep for a while, upon waking I had the longest pissed walk home EVER, my friend lives literally two minutes from my mothers house, yet it must of taken me 25 minutes to get home.I was happy I got home at all as I was utterly and entirely pie eyed and bollocksed!

Day 4 Tuesday the 23rd of October.

Today was the day of ALL DAY’S…..Saints be praised all hail the D!!!!!! Tonight we would visit Manchester for the gig to end ALL gig’s…. Tenacious D Live at the Manchester Apollo. Now as I had the mother of all hang overs, I was less than motivated or organised for this trip, I spent most of the day lounging, cruising websites to find a hotel near to the venue, and this is where this blog gets it’s name….. The Travel Lodge at Sport City in Manchester was affordable, near the gig, and it had rooms available, seem’s like a no brainer huh? OOOOOOOOH how wrong could I of been……

The trip to Manchester in our car was over in less than an hour, however upon arrival at our destination we wished we had gotten a little lost, the Travel Lodge in Gorton Greater Manchester was, to frame it in some sort of literary way, like the moment in the Lord of the Rings Saga when Sam and Frodo arrive at mount Doom, all that was missing was the giant flaming eye of Sauron and two hundred thousand blood thirsty Orc’s all hell bent on the destruction of mankind, but as it was only 6pm we figured that they could well be playing the early bird games in Mecca bingo next door, seemingly the only structure within thirty miles that had all it’s windows in tact, so we hurried into the relative safety of the hotels compound!

The 15 foot fence topped with razor wire did little to assuage the feeling of imminent violent death, indeed it rather enhanced the ‘Middle East U.S embassy compound’ look. The highly trained travel lodge militia watched on from behind banks of sand bags and other strategic firing positions as we approached the car park. Upon entering the compound in our hire car, we waved in a friendly manner to the guards in the machine gun towers.

After parking the car, petting the attack dogs, and negotiating the mine field, we entered the reception to be greeted by a surly hotel worker who wandered off as soon as we walked up to the reception desk.

When the receptionist finally appeared it turned out that I had booked the wrong date for the hotel, when the receptionist then informed me that it would cost a further £60 to book a room, I began to internally give myself Chinese burns, not only were we in a hotel that made a night out in Damascus seem to be a welcoming experience, but I had to pay TWICE for the privilege   I was just about to draw my sabre and commit seppuku right there in the reception area, when the young Mancunian girl added in an enthusiastic manner (with no hint of sarcasm);

“Well you can stay the extra day as well if you like?”

to which we thought…

‘how many times can you be violently stabbed and murdered?’

but we answered…

“Sorry but we are leaving the country tomorrow.”

This comment was met with the sort of look that is usually reserved for the moment after you soundly thrash someone else’s children with a shitty stick, on the park. After paying (TWICE) for the room, we where finally free to admire the accommodation we had paid so handsomely for.

Our room was everything we had dreamt it would be, the thick crimson shag pile carpets in the hallway, completely enveloped our toes in exquisite comfort. The lavish hallway lead through to the boudoir area which was carpeted by luxurious tiger skin rugs, and flanked by walls hung heavy with various works from the grand masters of the mid to late impressionist period, all framed in the finest gilt frames and hung from the most lustrous  velvet wallpaper.

In the centre of the room sat an emperor sized four poster bed carved from the finest Brazilian mahogany, the headboard was crafted to depict an interpretation of the bayeux tapestry which appeared so accurate, that by the time the carving reached the foot of the bed the arrow sticking out of King Harold’s eye still had the feathers attached.

In one corner of the suite sat an ornate log fire set onto a pedestal of the finest alabaster. This was blazing when we entered, sending shadows flickering and dancing across the walls and ceiling of the room, giving the room a feeling of cosiness and warmth which boarded on the magical. The French doors set into the wall at the foot of the bed, where cloaked in the finest ermine and opened out onto our own private balcony area, the trellis’s which clung around the door frame where be-decked by highly perfumed varieties of flora, most evidently night flowering Jasmine, which  left it’s sweet enticing aroma hanging heavily in the late autumnal evening air. The ample proportion of the balcony allowed for a great many examples of unique marble sculpture and statuary. At the far side of the balcony sat a luxurious hot tub, EVERY last subtle touch was accounted for in exquisite detail, from the gentle harp music piped into the room, to the finely carved cherubs in various stages of undress that adorned the ceiling frescoes, it was a remarkable feat of architecture and interior design that would of made Christopher Wren and Lawrence Lewelyn Bowen blush, respectively!

After forcing the door open the smell of damp was enough to make you gag. the dank stench was backed up by an ambient room temperatures that was so low it would of made Linda Blair’s character in ‘the exorcist’ feel really comfy. The distinct lack of lighting in the room was clearly an attempt to befuddle the senses of room guests into thinking the stains on the walls and carpet where actually intentional works of modern art. The electric wall heater sat buzzing angrily, under the only porthole of outside light in the room. This three foot square window had one of those annoying window locks on it to prevent anyone opening it more than two or three inches, escape was clearly not an option this way. We would have to be more creative to escape this hell hole…

One possible escape route was to use the divan bed as a makeshift trampoline and KER-BOING through the paper thin ceiling.  it didn’t bare to much thought to imagine what kind of a harrowing abuse this poor bed had had to suffer to become so worn out, the springs where so shot that you had to get on the bed very slowly otherwise you found yourself splattered against the far wall, like some form of cartoon wrecking ball. I wasn’t aware that ACME made double bed’s, but obviously unbeknown to me, they where branching out.

The further we investigated the room, the more horrified we became, the bathroom had a sink and a bath with no hot water, or for that matter any plugs, it also had an obstinate door which refused to close or open in equal measure (clearly it was a feature of this hotel room, that access and egress where equally trying on the weary traveller).

After carefully settling in, we decided to grab some food before heading to the gig, what we actually ended up doing was buying disparate and random items from a branch of Tesco’s that wouldn’t of looked out of place in a Tim Burton film, I mean this place was vast, we found some sandwiches, and then had to take public transport to discover any liquids, the place was so enormous that it kinda answered our questions about, why all the houses where boarded up and empty in the area….Everyone was trapped in Tesco’s, and not allowed to leave until they had handed over their benefits. Entire families had built toilet paper castles or cereal packet terraces just to sustain themselves and protect against the packs of feral track suited children, hyped up on energy drinks and junk food, that stalked the aisles looking for their next victim. It was a very macabre experience.

Having escaped by the skin of our teeth with sandwiches, a toilet brush, some roast potato’s, a lint roller and some shelf warm beer, we returned to our dank, dark and dangerous nest to prepare for the evening’s jollities…A night of outright rock in the company of Jack Black and Kyle Gass and three thousands like minded folks.

Leaving our squalid pit behind us we ventured out into the wilds of the Travel lodge corridor, I being the first through the door (always the gent) my ears where met by the tortured screams of someone in a great deal of distress;

“They must of got the same room deal as us”

I quipped jokingly, only to realise with cold dread that what we could both now hear wasn’t the squeals of agony, far from it, cold, clammy and now with the added urge to projectile vomit we made a dash for the stairs before we could hear any more, our taxi awaited us.

The venue for the night was the art Deco masterpiece that was the Manchester Apollo, This brick built behemoth is genuinely a stunningly beautiful structure all smooth rigid cladding and subtly curving lines, when lit by spot lights it is a very attractive building, with a wealthy of charm and character seldom seen in more modern constructions.

Originally opened in the 1930’s as a cinema, it has been refitted as the perfect musical venue with superb acoustics.

Upon arrival in our taxi, we hurried inside, through clouds of deeply suspicious and highly pungent smoke and crowds of shifty looking types trying to sell us tickets, amongst other things.

Fighting off the urge for a munchy attack, we climbed the zig-zaging internal stairways and took our seats to await the beginning of the show.

First to come on stage where a band called ‘The Sights’; from Detroit (I didn’t put my hands up when they announced this, for fear of being beaten to death by some sweaty rocker). They where a very high energy bunch, with a lead singer who appeared to have restless leg syndrome, their musical style could be best described as being like a really good psychedelic 1960’s band on amphetamines. They reminded me of The Animals, but a version of the band where the lead singer Eric Burdon has the resting heart rate of a terrified woodland creature in a thunder storm! In short very loud very fast rock n roll music with a soupçon of Saxophone thrown in for good measure…(with that description I don’t think I’ll be getting a job at the NME any time soon) a good support act, but not a patch on what was to come.

At around 9pm the house lights dimmed and Tenacious D came on stage to rapturous applause. Two and a half hours later, more than three thousand ‘D’ fans left feeling ecstatic. Since forming in the mid 90’s the band have been given the moniker of ‘mock rockers’ but what was witnessed on this night was anything but ‘mock’, they oozed talent and an ability to captivate an audience that would have ANY serious rock group green with envy.

The addition to the group of a drummer as well as a bass, and lead guitarist, has not only added to the richness of the ‘D’s’ sound, but, it has also freed up Jack Black and Kyle Gass to do what they do best….Entertain. Whilst Kyle Gass has a masterful ability with a multitude of instruments, as well as a dead pan persona, Jack Black has a maniacal energy  and vocal range that is nothing short of phenomenal.

Starting the show with a stream of songs from their new album ‘Rize of the Fenix’ all destined to become modern classic’s, they slipped from the saucy, tongue in cheek lyrics of  ‘Low hanging Fruit’, through the hilariously Hyspanic influenced revenge story that is ‘Señorita’ with consummate ease. Next came the high octane ‘Dethstar’  followed by the future anthem ‘Roadie’ along with a few more from the new album (Throw Down, Quantum Leap, The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Cage and Saxaboom) and ending with the brilliantly funny ’39’; before the shows second hour settled into much more familiar territory with such classics as ‘Kilbasa’, ‘Kick-a-poo’ and ‘Kyle Quit the Band’ each song was interspersed with a small comedic back and forth, that never failed to hit the spot.

The D managed to skim through their triumvirate of recordings with resounding and rapturous support from an audience that where putty in their hands through out, they even managed to add in their own version of The Who’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ before, the show ended with the obligatory rendition of ‘Tribute’ which brought the house down.

After a riotous standing ovation, the duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass returned to the stage minus the rest of the group, via an eight foot high ladies ahem…erm private place, to finish the evening with what most fans will agree is their Pièce de résistance ‘Fuck her softly’ which was sung by the entire audience at the top of their voices….It was at this point I made an interesting observation regarding the the crowds activity.

In the past when a singer or band would sing what is considered to be a ballad, the audience would join in whilst holding aloft a naked flame from a cigarette lighter. Since the smoking ban in the U.K as well as the explosion of gadgetry it would appear that the modern trend is to substitute the lighter for a mobile telephone, because on the night, there were literally hundreds of smart phone’s being waved aloft as ‘the D’ did their thing.

After the curtain came down on the nights frivolity we made our way out of the Apollo to the waiting rank of taxi’s upon opening the taxi door we got the old;

“Where to guv?”

To which I answered;

“Bogota please driver?”

This elicited a blank look from the front seat, so we had to come clean and answer sensibly. After narrowly avoiding being strafed by heavy machine gun fire when we pulled into the Travel lodge compound, we paid the driver and stepped briskly into the foyer, as ripples of distant gun fire began to echo through the night air.

Back in our room we huddled together for warmth and discussed what we had just seen, both agreeing that it was a magnificent show, we drifted off to sleep together in the center of the bed, like a pair of knackered Ford Cortina’s in a scrap yard.

Day 5 Wednesday the 24th of October

The following morning we awoke at 5am and hurriedly packed our bags to evacuate the building by 5:30am. The offer made by the receptionist of breakfast being served from 7am, whilst being tempting, was also a horrifying prospect, if they could mess up a hotel room so easily, what on earth would they do to a breakfast?

After wishing the general and his men the best of luck with the rest of the conflict, we burned some serious rubber to get the hell out of Gorton at the earliest possible opportunity. Passing a sign that proudly exclaimed

“Gorton twinned with Kabul!”

We both nodded ans made a mental note to visit Afghanistan ASAP to see who got the better part of this deal?

As we rocketed towards the M6 Sarah informed me that I had been sacked from the roll of holiday planner, I simply shrugged and agreed, my choice of hotel was utterly abysmal and with that my resignation was complete.

We made record time back to Preston, and ended our journey in Morrison’s supermarket at 7am waiting for the first batch of bakery produce to arrive on the shelves, after some serious hot tea and croissants action we had little more to do but pack our cases, give kisses and hugs and wish our lovely family ‘adieu’  until the new year, the days had flown by and all that was left to do now was return to the airport for our flight home to Paris.

After spending an afternoon in Liverpool airport awaiting our flight home, we finally boarded our flight at 6pm to discover, to our horror that Easyjet had sold their spare seats as a package to the Euro Disney people, and we where to be surrounded by excited infants for the entire journey.

Further to our horror we discovered the small packets we had picked up in the Manchester Apollo, thinking they where ear plugs, were actually jelly sweats!!! Thankfully I had a book to read, and the plane made fine time, actually landing earlier than scheduled. Myself and Sarah then ran from the baggage claim leaving the horde’s of screaming Euro brats behind us.

When we reached the station to catch the train back to the big P, we happily discovered a train that was running an express service, without exaggeration this saved us at least an hour of travelling time, so we sat happily zipping along towards our destination.

Upon reaching the Gare de Nord however we discovered that the gods of travel and the gods of reliable electrical current had a further hand in our destiny, by shafting the final metro line in our journey, which then added a further two hours of Metro line hopping across the city to reach our home in the 17th. We rolled through our front door at a little past midnight and fell into our bedroom in a sweaty heap.

What we have learned from our holiday experience?

Don’t allow me to book hotel rooms….

Don’t linger in airport toilets…..

What ever you do….

Never……EVER……Visit Gorton!

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