I can’t say this enough: Don’t judge people too quickly. The young girl I was complaining about earlier for playing her headphones too loudly turned out to be named Hannah. I found this out after I accepted a ride to Keswick from her mother, Caroline.
You should know by now that I appreciate my quiet time on trains. I broke my normal MO and chatted to the smiling, grey-haired woman sitting across the table from me. We both happened to look up at the the same time and gave each other that polite smile and “Hi” that one does when one is put in that situation. Conversation followed.

She was travelling back home after a visit to her son. We discussed where we were both from, where we had visited, and of course – the weather. When conversation turned to my destination, I replied that I was catching the bus from Penrith Station to Keswick. A new voice entered the conversation from my left with “Did you say you were going to Keswick?” We both turned to look and saw Caroline (although I didn’t know that was her name at the time) peering back at me inquisitively. I said yes and she responded by pointing out that she had a car at Penrith and drives past Keswick on her way home if I would like a ride. Maybe they are more friendly in the North!!

During my car ride, I learned that Hannah was 14. This came up as the explanation for why she was so excited about telling me that she had seen somebody that I had never heard of at the train station in London. I’m still confused and convinced more than ever that I’m actually older than I feel since I have really lost all contact with what a person is interested in at the age of fourteen these days. Not that I mind because I know of a lot more things that I didn’t know about then that I KNOW are better than what I knew about at age fourteen! And no, I’m not going into details. Caroline and Hannah were both really friendly and I made the mistake of not following my normal travelling rule of getting absolutely everyone’s photo and email address that I meet.

While waiting for Amanda, I started shopping for a coat since there were a lot of outdoors shops and they were all running sales. I was quickly accosted by a young, eager kid that tried to upsell me to a Gore-Tex coat that would have survived the gale force winds I was afraid of seeing on this trip. He managed to learn about everwhere I have lived, what I thought of London, and how long I would be visiting. The important thing about this line of questioning is I know he didn’t care what I said as long as I was trying on anything over £250. Concerned that I might provoke foul weather by purchasing a coat that could protect me from it, I stepped away and kept a firm grip on my money.

Amanda arrived, looking lovely as usual and we headed off to a pub…via a few more outdoors shops. I purchased a genuine UK produced Karrimor Hurricane Fleece to replace my tattered $10 “leather” coat. That coat served me well for over a year but it was reaching the end of its useful life. The water repellency of a fleece isn’t quite as high as the old plastic-leather but it definitely proved to be warmer, looked better, and is produced right here in the UK.

We were heading off for a walk when we wisely decided to find a place to stay the night first. It’s always easier to find a room when it’s six o’clock and your sober rather than when it is eleven thirty and you’re not! Being lazy, we took the first place we found and accepted the £22 each price tag. I probably should have negotiated since:

  • They still had vacancies
  • All of the adjacent places had vacancies
  • It wasn’t high season
  • I’m paying out of my overdraft!

They locked the place up at midnight so we had to make a fairly sensible night of it. For whatever reason we were both a little slow and were back and asleep before eleven anyway.


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