A weekend in York

This tale, I think, deserves to start with the train journey, for Virgin trains are probably the best trains in the world, nay, the universe. If you haven’t travelled inter-city on a Virgin train, you really should consider it sometime. I walked on and thought I’d gone into first class by mistake. Then I realised – the whole train was carpeted and had really nice seats. First class on Virgin seem to get complimentary drinks, as far as I can tell…

So I sat and read my paper (the Times, of course) to while away the journey. And then I heard the announcement from the customer service manager: there was an on-board shop. It sold magazines. It sold coffee. It sold chocolate. And it sold alcohol! I gave in towards the end of the journey and bought myself a can of Strongbow, and was served by a very pleasant feller with a
Yorkshire accent. Northerners are the friendliest people in
Britain, and it reminded me how much I missed the north and hated the attitude of the people of
Cambridge…


York station was just the best place to terminate the best train journey I ever had. I have a thing for old stations – the Victorian and Edwardian architecture makes them something special. Even the most functional supporting girders are decorated. I wandered round for about a quarter of an hour before I finally bumped into the host of the evening, Joe. He’s had his lip pierced recently, leaving an inch-long spike poking out of the bottom of it… We were joined after half an hour by Vlad and Freddie.

 

A quick aside, before I go on. Joe, Vlad and Freddie are some of the guys I used to hang around with in secondary school in
Doncaster. Since I left five and a half years ago, I have only seen them every few months (and there was a four year gap between my leaving and meeting them again for the first time) and since we’ve all gone to uni, we’ve been in the habit of meeting up semi-regularly.

So we headed off to Joe’s house via his girlfriend’s flat (full of pics of Cliff Richard – go figure…) and from there went on a pub crawl round
York. We did the local Varsity, the Olde Starre Inne (spelling Mr Sowden?) – which was a very nice place and one I’d recommend to anyone else visiting York, and ended at the York St. John student union. I lost a pound in the video jukebox there. Things started to go downhill generally, actually. We’d been given some tickets to get in free to a rock night at the local club, so we went there and go to it just before the free entry expired. And got IDed on the door. I don’t have any recognisable ID, and neither does Joe. Joe gets emotional when he’s drunk and was consequently a bit pissed off, so I picked a mock fight with him to take his mind off it (although maybe wrestling in the middle of the city centre was a good way to get arrested…).

We headed off to a place with a late license where Joe had recently applied for a job, but we got turned away for a lack of ID there, too. Then it all went a bit strange. Joe was upset with situation (and he was already feeling inadequate as a host just ’cos he hadn’t tidied his room up) so he went on a sudden determined streak to go anywhere with music and was about to act on a half-joking earlier suggestion of mine to do Reflex. Vlad just wanted to take a leak…

So Freddie stamped Joe down and said that we should go back to his house and play some music there. I’ll concede that the situation needed taking charge of, but Freddie was really not the one to be doing it, given that he’s been down in the dumps lately and we really needed the control of someone who could make fun happen. And, yes, I do mean me, but I didn’t try to because Freddie had got belligerent to try and force Joe away from doing something we’d all regret and I wasn’t going to be successful being happy-go lucky in the face of that. And if I’d been equally belligerent, we’d have just had a fall out.

So we ended up back at Joe’s girlfriend’s place after climbing over a fence to make a quick shortcut. Vlad got his boot stuck in the top rail on the way over, and Freddie decided to go round anyway, which I think illustrates the kind of mood he was in. We probably should have gone to Reflex…

What happened at Joe’s girlfriend’s isn’t really worthy of mention, and we went back to Joe’s afterwards. Where I gained a laceration on my elbow wrestling on the tarmac outside. This was just ’cos Joe and I were both up for it, having not had a match with no sexual connotations for quite some time…

Vlad and Freddie went to bed, while Joe and I went to get some food. His girlfriend was waiting for him, but he still challenged me to a game of chess before he went back to her place. I slept on a couch at Joe’s and covered myself with cushions for warmth.

Joe told us that we can use his computer to look at whatever we liked, but he had no porn on there himself. So we got on the net and found him some, as he was a couple of hours later coming home than he’d told us.

And we spent Sunday morning in a three-floor tea room, drinking tea and coffee while invading one of the small, upstairs rooms. Joe showed us some interesting shops (where I bought Queen badges!). And we spent some of the afternoon sat by the river watching the world go by.

I travelled home by Virgin again, and discovered that Virgin name their trains. I came home on the Michael Palin…

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~ by Scary Rob on 5 March, 2005.

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