Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Not So Accidental Hobo's

My time spent living in London does tend to make me feel very much unlike the adventurous globe trotter. On occasion I'm able to grab my rucksack, get a cheap bus ticket to anywhere and take it from there. (OK, in reality this has only happened once. But I'm hoping it'll stick.)

A couple of weeks ago on a rare long weekend from work, I booked coach ticket to Brighton and was ready to go off on a Friday morning without any money or accommodation and a 'let's see what happens' approach. The day before I was due to leave a fellow traveller, friend & sucker for the unknown, Ariane, decided she'd join in the adventure.

We arrived in Brighton greeted by rays of sunshine and people basking on the beach, revelling in those golden rays we so rarely see. Naturally, we ditched any sightseeing we should've done and headed for the beach. And there we stayed–  literally.

My original plan was that if I didn't find any accommodation, not that I'd looked at all, I'd sleep on the beach under the pier. Ariane, armed with £8 and a sleeping bag and myself armed with £20 and, well, that's all, met up with a Couchsurfer  on the beach where we shared baked beans and
bread. (Poundland special 2 tins for 99p!)

Craig the CSer & Ariane after Baked beans for dinner
The three of us hung out for a few hours and when he found out we had nowhere to go, offered us a place to sleep. We turned down the kind offer for a night on the beach, as one does. The sun set and things got cool, we headed for the nearest pub to see out the rest of the night until bed time.

At about 10pm we decided it was time to drink our own (budget) cider on the beach and turn in for the night. We shivered through the two litre bottle and some cereal from Poundland before deciding it was time to get some warmth and sleep.

Being a Friday night, the students of Brighton were out in their numbers and it was hard to find a decent spot to rest our weary heads–  we'd abandoned the 'under the pier' idea since the beach was too windy and cold.

The view of the alley from my bed
By this time the night was an icy 6 degrees and I
finally understood the concept of 'wind-chill factor'.

We scouted out a quiet alley next to a resturaunt and some flats. Ariane laid down her sleeping bag and I, um… I hadn't thought that far and just laid. I curled into a ball and soon the laughs and clip-clops of party-goers faded into a somewhat comfy sleep. This didn't last long, as I presume my being still for so long and the wind that had picked up caused me to feel terribly cold and I shivered awake. Soon I was waking up a reluctant Ariane for us to find a warmer spot.

Bed time- I get the top bunk!
Ironic that the restaurant we sleep
next to is called 'The House' ? 


Eventually we found somewhere I thought would shield us from the wind and we crouched behind some sort of extractor fan boxy things. The sounds of the streets were louder, the seagulls more annoying and the wind excruciatingly colder. I wrapped up tighter in my ill-prepared, summer attire and Ariane's beach towl and spent the rest of the night rocking back and forth like the autistic kid in Bruce Willis' Mercury Rising.

Slept behind those box things behind the railing
Cold, hungry and bored the night wore on slower than I've ever experienced. If I did doze off it wasn't long before drunk shouting in the streets or squawking seagulls woke me up.

Soon it  began getting light and at 5:45 we decided that we had to move before the town began to stir: the streets were already being cleaned and workers were arriving at work.
Smelling like hobo's we dusted ourselves off, gathered our rucksacks and jumped the railings onto the street. Where did we head? The only place that was open at that ridiculous hour. The beach.

We walked along the beach for a few hours, not feeling any warmer but able to laugh about the whole thing and recount the annoyances of the past night.

Wish we had the £1 barbecue the night before-
look at that flame!
After a while we found ourselves at Mc Donalds where we splurged on a coffee and our bits of cereal from Poundland. We spent another few hours there, freshened up in their bathrooms, wrote a message in a bottle, laughed at our antics and plotted our next adventure. With our precious pennies dwindling we went back to our 'beach house' to have breakfast of more baked beans (this time we had a barbecue courtesy of Poundland) before going to the park to catch up on some much needed sleep and warmth in the sun.

Breakfast on the beach. More Beans!

Unable to face another night in the cold I asked the very Couchsurfer who (obviously thought we were completely nuts) offered us his place the previous day if we could crash at his.

Our supplies from Poundland: Beans, cereal & cookies= £3
All I can say is that if I'm ever asked about the craziest thing I've ever done, I won't have to think twice about my answer. Oh, and that I never want to eat Baked Beans again...
Passed out after beans for lunch!

Oh No!

While most girls swear they'll never turn into their mothers it's pretty much inevitable and we just accept it (kind of) and move on. So when I started showing signs of a) looking (although I'm a belter–  no thanks to me –  the legendary Pillay bum has found this Jutle) and b) sounding like my mother, I just took it in my stride.

Imagine my surprise when I realised I've TURNED INTO MY FATHER!

He'll happily chuck a chunk of
whatever into his lunch box- my new
trick too.
Seriously, I didn't see it coming. It sort of just crept up on me. A little wise crack here, a bit of dumpster diving there and before I know it I'm a fully fledged crack-pot!

Let's just go through the list:

*The man will eat ANYTHING. I mean it. Carbonised bread that can't even be called burnt toast, porridge soaked in fruit juice, scrapings of the condiment jar, the list is endless.
* Using any scrap of something as a towel/scarf/shirt/bandana- more often than not, as all of those.
* Picking up random things off the road/dump/charity shop and hanging them about the house as decor.
* Unable to resist a good stretch on any wall/rail or object that may or may not be appropriate to do so.
* Being annoyingly finicky about other peoples stuff (not a bad trait just annoying if the stuff in question is a car coz he'll drive at a ridiculously slow pace & not use it for anything other than it's intended purpose).
* And who could forget that warped sense of humour. Yip, the one that no one else gets. Ever.

My wheels, at my disposal any time.
Now for the shocker, I can easily claim all the above as my own. These antics and more have been unleashed into the world. So ring the alarm, 'coz the next stop is tatty clothes and the loony bin!

The only other people more like my dad than I am!

* No feelings were hurt in the making of this post, however I'm obliged to mention that this post should in no way be seen as a complaint and that the parent in question is very dear to me (as is the more sane one).

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Toodle 'Loo'

'But, it's boring', Tom (my little minion, I can dream can't I?) whined. He wasn't talking about his chores- he doesn't have those- or having to wait for the bus, or even his 13 pages of maths homework. 'Pleeeease, I need it... I get borrrrrrrred...' he beckoned, his voice squealed like a rusted windmill in a tornado. I know we've all been there, a lot of things are boring at his age. But even we accepted that some things would just never be exciting so it was best to just get on with the task at hand.

So, if it wasn't the chores or the homework what could possibly be that boring for this 10-year-old?

The loo.

Yip, that's it. In all it's glory: he's bored on the bog.

And what exactly was the in-flight entertainment he so desperately needed? Possibly more desperate than natures call itself?  An iPod- a brand new touch version, might I add. 

Say hello to what we've raised: the generation of constant entertainment. Whom, even at this relatively primitive level, will need their attention * virtual choke* engaged in some sort of mind numbing piece of technology just so that they can get through a pee.

Goodbye trusty pile of grubby 'loo' mags, hellooo iPod stand.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

What To Do When You Can't Find a Job

I laughed my socks off when I found these highly embarrassing (but somewhat entertaining) videos. Taken at what turns out to be just the start of our trip after being on a constant job hunt. 

Sorry Kayle to implicate you in this uber blush worthy material! And sorry that it sounds like I'm calling you a tool- whoops!
(Jan 2010)

After watching these videos I really appreciate the Snowman!
Probably the last one I'll ever build too.

Highland Game(s) Drive

Apologies for the terrible sound quality- and narration. 
Well the narrator in general! Worth a few giggles though!
(Aug 2010)