By Aislinn De'Ath

By Aislinn De'Ath
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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Solitary traveller...

Reader, travelling alone is not my idea of a great time. I like sharing experiences, having someone to natter with and share bags of boiled sweets with on the train journey. Also, I get vaguely nervous when I travel solo, largely because I'm so dappy things are certain to go abysmally astray. To be honest, I spend roughly 87.5% of my life convinced that a big man in an ugly tie will come and tell me off at any minute and travelling alone seems to aggravate that fear.

I think everyone has that to an extent, that feeling that if they check your ticket, they'll realise that you've done something terribly wrong and you actually owe them three kazillion pounds. Well, if that had happened to me on the trip I took yesterday, I would certainly not be able to pay as I'd spent the last of my pennies on trashy books for the trip (mainly, I regret to say, about vampires. No, not twilight. Some weird rip off, which is sort of worse really isn't it?) and a family sized bag of peanut M&M's (I am a traveller who firmly believes that without chocolate, no trip is truly complete..).

The thing is, when you travel with someone else, it's a bit of an adventure getting things wrong, something you can laugh about later in that smug 'we had a shared life experience' sort of way. Whereas when you're alone, you just want to go 'look, I'm a kid, I think it's really unfair that you're being so mean to me' before you realise that obviously you're not a child, you're 23, which is plenty old enough to take responsibility for your actions. Bugger.

And even if the whole travelling malarkey doesn't end up with you in jail having uncomfortable conversations about your return ticket to Little-Bums-On-Sea, it's still all so expensive! £30 return? For three hours on a smelly train filled with impeccably boring men in suits? For that I'd at least like a gin and tonic in a proper glass. And a guaranteed seat. I had to practically knock out a woman with a pram to get mine!

Then of course there's the staying in a strange place bit. If I'd have been there with someone else, we'd have gone for dinner, played some kind of 'murder in the dark' game, cuddled up against the freezing country air and generally had a few larks. Whereas, as a solitary traveller, I was painfully aware that a) I was a young girl all alone b) In the middle of nowhere, opposite a big scary hay barn and c) wasn't that what happened in Psycho? The strangeness of the B&B I was in added to the nerves. Within ten minutes of getting there I'd found a conker in a small china pot with an elastic band and a tiny key, a book on prince William, the most old school tv I'd come across in years and lamp that seemed to have screaming faces growing out of it's china base. It probably didn't help that it's quite near Halloween and I just watched Paranormal Activity 3 this week. Or that Mum showed me all this stuff about a local poltergeist haunting that happened just down the road from where we live. I have a seriously overactive imagination, so hearing so much about ghosties and then going off to stay in a creaky old farmhouse was probably not the best idea. Especially since my room didn't appear to have a lock.

I'd sort of decided that I was going to make the best of things and try and make it a mini-holiday, but that didn't really work out. All the sugar I ate gave me funny hyperactive palpitations, I forgot my conditioner and I over moisturised, so I kept sliding off surfaces.Then I couldn't get to sleep, but my eyes felt so tired I couldn't read the small print of my crap book, so I spent most of the night tweeting and checking how my stuff on Ebay was doing (when I could get signal, which had to involve standing on the bed with my arm above my head, or crouched in one specific corner)Three hours sleep I had Reader. And worst of all, when I finally got up at 5am (!!!) the only cerials they had were ones designed to do things to old people's bowels. Hideous. The taxi's are different in the countryside as well. I got charged for the taxi's journey to come get me! I mean, how unfair is that? I defo couldn't do living in the sticks. I'd miss easy, cheap travel too much! I suppose I'd have to learn to drive. And take up gardening. And learn how to make my own clothes. Food is almost always tastier in the countryside too, so I'd almost certainly get fat and start wearing overalls.

Speaking of getting fat, there'll be another cake blog entry next week, so keep your eyes peeled! Am actually making cakes today (between jobs, reading to small children and selling wine to adults, must try to not get the two confused) as a sort of bonus for my workmates if they agree to coming in dressed up in halloween costumes tomorrow. I'm not sure it'll work, I may actually be the only one who comes in fully attired in costume. That would be a bit cringe. Let's hope they dress up!

Off to read to chiddlers I go!

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