I currently have no internet, so this is going to be the first blog I have ever written before I’ve actually been able to put it up. The plus side to this that if I make any silly spelling errors the lovely word checker will tell me, the bad sides are obviously that I can not put it up immediately and the horrible little spell checker that doesn’t accept words like blog.
Anyway I am currently in Durham as the title would suggest well not quite Durham but a nearby town called Stockton where my girlfriend’s university is situated. I’m not sure how glad she will be that I am telling the whole world this but I went up with her this week to keep her company while she is doing her re-sits. Yes, it may seem a bit of a bad idea as she is meant to be heavily revising but I can imagine if I was up here by myself I would get very lonely and thus most likely fall into some kind of depression. It is not that Stockton is a bad town; on the contrary, some parts of it are quite exciting. Just there is not all that much in close proximity of the room we are in.
So onto the actual activities that I shall be talking about. The lady needing to revise meant that I needed to make myself scarce and being the helpful lad I am I thought I would do some shopping for us for the week. Obviously this did not go entirely to plan or it wouldn’t be worth writing about. Kali told me the directions to the local Morrisons supermarket but I hazily forgot them and so went for a bit of a wonder. I looked around me for inspiration and saw a Morrisons sign and naturally made my way towards it. Apart from getting stuck briefly in a David Lloyd fitness centre I made good progress towards the sign. I did get a little confused at the location, it seemed a little secluded and that’s when I saw it, the Morrisons sign that I had been making my way towards, unfortunately not the supermarket but the regional head-quarters. A good hour and a half after I had initially left I got back to the room with as little food as I had started with. We then had a nice Chinese take away to celebrate.
That was the Thursday, on the Friday we went to the cinema to catch the latest Mummy film, for anyone who hasn’t seen it I am just about to ruin it by saying it is exactly the same as the other ones but in China . Saturday I went into town which apparently, as I read on the signpost, has the widest high street in the UK . Stockton has everything you would expect in a town, a variety of shops and a good selection of pubs. It also has a market on a Wednesday and a Saturday which is ridiculously cheap and has the coolest named building ever ‘The Shambles Shopping Centre’. But it was Sunday that boasted the next really exciting events.
We woke up late on Sunday, too late for our planned visit into town and so we spent another day of me mindlessly playing computer games and her doing her best to do anything except revision and this is the way it stayed until approximately 8 o’clock-ish when we decided to take a little stroll as we were tired of being cooped up in the room all day. We made our way over the bridge into Stockton , taking a few pictures as we went, for memories and then made our way onto the deserted high street. Well not quite deserted, there was only one man that we could see and of course he came up to us. A slight fear came upon me as it always does when a beggar comes to you but soon enough he turned out to be the greatest beggar of all time. He introduced himself to us as Paul and he made up a lovely little story of how once a few years back I had seen him in a café and leant him some money for a cup of tea, he then told us how he was still homeless but getting out of a bad patch. As if this wasn’t enough he kept telling me that I was gorgeous and that my hair was beautiful, anyone who knows me in the slightest will know that this kind of compliment will get you just about anywhere with me, and it would have got into my wallet had I been carrying more than 17 pence on me at the time. He did on several occasions feel the need to point out that he wasn’t ‘a queer’ whilst telling me I was gorgeous which was nice to know as we hugged and said farewell. I did feel bad that I had no money to give him after such a magnificent effort from him. A tip for you if you ever find yourself begging on the street, don’t just sit there and ask for money, be like Paul and do a whole speech, it really worked on me.
I bet you are thinking wow! That is a pretty exciting story but no it does not end there on that very same night after we had said goodbye to Paul we walked a little further up the street and decided to have a photo next to these weird dog statues when an elderly lady asked if she was in the way. At first I had thought she was angry but she wasn’t and soon enough we found ourselves in our second conversation with a stranger of the night. Her name was Joyce and she was a little old fashioned which some may construe as racist especially in the company of my Asian girlfriend but it was clear that she meant nothing by it, she had just clearly grown up in a lot less politically correct time. Her racism was not the only thing about her though; she had an amazing grasp of language. She asked Kali where she was from and when she heard Sri Lanka she immediately said ‘nundri’ which means thank you. She then listed how many languages she could say thank you in. From Urdu, to Polish, to French, to German, it was truly inspiring her stories of how a man called her a pig in Urdu and she replied who are you calling a pig in his own native language. Language though was not her only talent she then got out her little pack of cards and wrote our names in an old English font which I shall now keep as a souvenir for ever. The conversation with Joyce went of for what seemed like half an hour but we soon said goodbye and then started on our way back to the room and I found myself in an extremely jubilant mood following the evening’s proceedings (well that the absurd amount of sugar I had consumed that day). We got back to the room by about 11 and went to bed.
And here we are on Monday we are going to go into town today again because Kali wants to get some stress relief in the form of shopping which I am a bit apprehensive about. I have never been shopping with her properly yet and I am sure I will end up spending hours waiting around clothes shops waiting for her to try on clothes but you never know it may just be fun. Tomorrow is her next exam and then we shall be headed back home soon after on another six and a half hour coach ride…
This is the end of my Durham blog, and just because I am writing it in word I will give you a word count so here it is… One Thousand, Three Hundred and Twenty Nine words, wow!
See you soon, END