Ihr findet die deutsche Version HIER zusammen mit Teil 13.
Glasgow (Scotland)-Kirkby Stephen (England, Durham County)-London-Hamburg
August 3, 1974 (Saturday)
From Glasgow we set off for home. We want to stay at Barnard Castle because somehow I would have liked to see Alan again. But there is only a note with ’sorry, no vacancies’ on the door. Since I still want to speak to him, but he is not there, we first go to a snack bar. Then I go back alone, without luggage. This time he’s there. King, his black dog, jumps at me to sniff. But where is Topsy, the gentle, spotted one? Alan confirms the contents of the slip but doesn’t recognize me. He just says we’d be in good hands at Kirkby-Stephen Youth Hostel. I thank him and leave in a hurry.
Barnard Castle, market place, photo: booking.com
To Kirby-Stephen we travel with a strange young man who has just built a house. He is very social and is always joking. With him you don’t know what is meant seriously. The youth hostel is tiny, I think it has 28 beds. The Warden is a bit older and sits around a bit lost and unnoticed in the common room / kitchen. [Today I think that one absolutely should have found a topic to talk about with him.]
In the evening, as always, we want to have a little fun. Fortunately, two men approach us who give us a recommendation so that we can join the village club. We are introduced to the intricacies of bingo, a lottery game that is boring in my eyes. I prefer the music of the really good band. However, those present seem to take the game extremely seriously. They get really upset if you don’t cross out a number that is being called. Ils sont foux, les romains!
Kirby Steven, one of this cosy little places, photo: Visitbritain.com.uk I think.
August 4, 1974 (Sunday)
The next day brings us wonderful sunny weather, and we hike a little through the area. We refresh ourselves at the Black Bull inn. There are only men present . and they are trying to persuade my friend to play the guitar. She refuses, saying that she only plays for cows and sheep. Then these grown men start mooing and mowing like idiots. We can hardly stop laughing. As the weather worsens, we hurry back to the hostel.
The Black Bull hotel, former Black Bull inn, photo: Visitbritain.com.uk I think.
August 5, 1974 (Monday)
The next morning, London stands before our minds. Kirkby-Stephen in the morning is a very quiet, lonely affair. We are already figuring out how many hours we will have to stand and wait, when a mini with two young men stops. And where do they want to go? To London! Fortune favours the, yes, what, the timid, the patient or the fools? 😉 They are from Glasgow and often go to London. They usually take the M6, the west coast motorway. Only today did they exceptionally choose the A1, „for a change“. Isn’t that ridiculously lucky? – Their names are Lesley and Robert. Lesley short and plump, a fun-loving Glaswegian; Robert a bit taller, blond and slim with a hint of a cowboy image. Lesley can play the guitar and performs songs by Billy Connolly. He thinks we’re nice. „It is fine to meet nice girls. There are so many not nice girls. “ – Robert keeps getting quieter. I have the impression that he would have preferred the other kind of girl. Lesley lives apart from his wife because he wants children and she does not. But he wants to go back to her.
In London we drive like crazy, it’s fun! We are making fun of some Indian royalty who are slowly cruising through London with a chauffeur and who we strangely meet again and again. Lesley and Robert have transported a till that they want to sell to a takeaway owner. However, for some reason it wasn’t the right one. Now the long journey has been in vain. „We can as well dump it into the river! I am not going to take it all the way back,” says Lesley. He tries to take the whole thing with humour. I can’t figure out Robert.
I call Badhe and Bola from Chelsea train station and learn that we cannot stay with them, the landlord does not allow it. So we’re trying to get back to our well-known Summer Hostel. „We are desperate,“ I say to the receptionist. „Me too,“ I get as answer. Finally they put us on camp beds for one night.
We spend the rest of the evening in Hyde Park and watch the sunset over the lake.
Sunset in Hyde Park, photo: flickr
August 6, 1974 (Tuesday)
We are invited to dinner at Badhe and Bola’s. They are very sorry that they could not accommodate us. Bola cooked chicken for us so that we could have something decent to eat on the ferry! She is a very sweet person.
I then buy a fabulous pair of boots in red and blue metallic for my African friend and just hope he’ll like them. [In case you should be concerned: he was delighted.]
August 7, 1974 (Wednesday)
The crossing is uneventful, luckily, no storm, no seasickness. My best friend and I are very melancholy and brooding for various reasons. I would have loved to swim back, just like last time. My girlfriend spends the night outside on one of the rescue boxes. But it’s too cold for me and I stay in the foul-smelling canteen.
One thing is certain: it will not be the last time I have been to Scotland!
[Tip: if you don’t like to fly, there is a ferry from Rotterdam to Hull, which is already in the north of England. Then you can also visit Yorkshire and the wonderful Lake District on your way to Scotland. And they have the Humber Car Museum in Hull!!!]
Finished, over, end of story … 😉 🙂
After Scotland we finished the boring secretary school (which was actually quite useful) and then began to work, and adult life started for real.