Here Comes The Planet 35 – England 09

We meet up with our friend Justin in Saltburn-By-The-Sea, in my personal favourite episode of Here Comes The Planet thus far!

Justin was the first Couchsurfer Amanda hosted, and whilst in Melbourne he also came along to our Samsara 2012 party (although I have no footage of that, here’s some footage from Samsara 2011). He was keen to return the hospitality, and did so in spades! We had a fantastic time with him and his mates, as you’ll no doubt be able to tell from the video. Apart from a great tour of Saltburn, he took us out to an excellent club night being run by a mate of his, as well as a joint birthday party where there were tasty noms, numerous games (some of which no one knew how to win, especially not the person making the game up as they went) and a lot of padded wrestling. We’re already looking forward to the time we can all catch up again. 🙂

Also, if you’ve never considered taking up dinghying as a hobby, Burno makes a compelling case.

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Here Comes The Planet 30 – England 04

Amanda spends the week with her mother, Jenny. They catch up with an old relative, revisit Jenny’s old home, stay in an old Lord’s summer home, visit an old castle and crash an old car.

Also, Amanda gets bitten by the gambling bug.

Here Comes The Planet 25 – England 01

We finally reach the United Kingdom! During this episode we catch up with Amanda’s old housemate Andrew, and he takes us down to his local pub as well as his local Tesco – Britain’s third largest in fact, and just behind his house! We also catch up with friends from Australia while exploring Camden Market, and our good friend Matt takes us sight-seeing in London.

Also, DICK TURPIN.

Cambridge

I lived in Cambridge in 2002 and coming back has been a trip down the proverbial memory lane. We haven’t actually been into town yet and I’m curious to discover how sharp my memories of the place are. Just being with Andrew and the whole Englishness of the suburb he’s living in is almost like déjà vu.

Last night we went to a lovely country pub owned by Andrew’s former boss and met up with a bunch of his workmates, quite a few of whom I’d met years ago. It was like a window into what life would have been like if I’d stayed. If the food at the pub was anything to go by I’d definitely be a lot fatter. Chicken, camembert and cranberry pie – so good!

The pub was called The Golden Ball and it was everything a pub should be. Lots of wood paneling and red carpet, a fire was going and there was the constant hum of conversation. There were even little pots of original edition Trivial Pursuit cards on each table. Sitting there, with a group of nice, funny people my age was just so comfortable.

We stayed til nearly midnight then Andrew decided to leave his car and a friend of his, Andrea, kindly gave us a lift home. We fell (gently) onto our air mattresses and had a solid night’s sleep.

….ooo000ooo….

This morning we walked back to the pub to pick up Andrew’s car. It was a beautiful hour or so’s walk through the countryside. We saw horses, a prize winning village and many daffodils. We couldn’t help but remark on how much better it was than walking in Slovakia, what with the easily-identifiable path and signposts and the general lack of snakes.

We decided to stop back into the pub for a quick drink and then drove into Cambridge where it was raining then sunny then raining then sunny and altogether quite like Melbourne. Everything looked pretty much as I remembered it. Including the hordes of people clogging the footpaths.

Luke got a long-overdue haircut, Andrew and I bought lollies at the market and then repaired to a charming, old-school pub for drinks. I found two ciders on tap that I hadn’t tried before and had a half pint of each before Luke came back.

 

We went for a wander around the city centre and now we’re back home at Andrew’s thinking about what to have for dinner and what our plans are going to be for the next week. Everything hinges on hearing back from Matt and whether we’ll have a car or not.