Oxford( Or How A Striped Mouse Saved My Ass )

Okay, just to let you know this part will be heavily edited in the telling because even though I was upset & rather pissed off I do still like my traveling companion & do consider her my friend, & telling about Oxford would be a little hard without telling this so here we go.

Last I left off we were on the train heading to London to head to Oxford. Damn, what a sentence that is. But anyway, as on the way to Edinburgh the scenery was beautiful, but by this time the pain from my back & the fact that for the past few days I really hadn’t felt well was crashing down on me. I tried taking pain meds but pain had hit the point that they weren’t working & at one point I was just sitting there crying(truthfully more like sobbing) & just wishing I was at home so I could just curl & sleep until pain & fever went away. And to top it all off I knew I had to tell companion she wasn’t welcome back at house to just camp out on sofa & that she’d have to make other plans. But while I’m sitting there crying she never said a word to me, she just stared at me.Well that didn’t help any. We finally got to London & discovered that the train we needed to take to Oxford left out of Paddington Station & not the one we had been given tickets for! So now it’s more lugging of luggage & getting another taxi! Not helping my mood. That & companion was wigging out about pay toilets, had never heard of such a thing & how could they do that. Tried to tell her they’ve been around for decades & not that big a deal, but she’d never heard of them & they didn’t have in New Mexico & so forth & so on. Get the fuck over it already!!!! Anyway, got a cab to the other station & more freaking lugging & finding the right track & then figuring out it’s rush hour! As you may have noticed none of this is helping me. And then find out we have to take luggage on to car with us since we’ll be getting off after 4 stops. I didn’t want to upgrade this time since it was only 4 stops & seats were supposed to have plenty of leg room. Well finally get on to train with luggage & train was so packed there were no seats so I had to stand. All of us that were standing were where the cars connect to each other which I’m sure is not safe. I was mashed up against the door to the toilet which didn’t shut good & kept swinging open & then when train went around one of those bumpy curves my head got slammed into corner of the toilet! So not happy! Finally after 2nd stop there were some seats to be had & I grabbed myself one. The girl who was sitting next to me kept scratching at her head with a pulled open bobby pin, like she had bugs or something! I could not wait to get off that train! Finally got to station & a young man was nice enough to lift my suitcase down for me. More lugging & getting a cab to next B&B(couldn’t wait to see this one since last 2 sucked big time), well we got there & I told her she could pay for this cab. Got myself & my bags out & was waiting on sidewalk since cabdriver didn’t pull into driveway & up to the door. Well I look up & I’m being waved over to cab, she didn’t have the cash to pay for cab. Well this was the last straw for me, I had paid for most everything so far to this point & had no intention of paying for anyone besides me anymore, so I paid for the cab & managed to get bags up to the door. When we rang the doorbell It was answered by someone who didn’t speak or understand very much English & this really irritated me. Well I got her to understand I wanted to leave my bag down at desk & went up to room with companion. Room wasn’t bad, wasn’t great but by this time I was just going to tell her what I needed to tell her & get a cab & find me my own room for the night & head back to London a day early & get a room there. I needed to be by myself, I just couldn’t do another 2 days with her without having my head explode. So I told her about back home & only reaction I got was “I figured”. This really irked me. Then I told her that I wasn’t going to be staying & as nicely as I could manage I told her why & just had to ask why when she had to have known I hadn’t been well & why she did say anything when I was crying on the train & just stared? Her response was “There wasn’t anything I could do”. Arrrrrggggggg! She had no reaction to any of this. I could have said it raining & gotten the same reaction. I told her I would see her at the airport on Friday & went downstairs & asked the girl to please call me a cab. Okay let me say here that ther was other things that went into this whole thing, I know I sound like a terrible person & felt like one, but I said everything as nicely as I could, but I knew that this was by far better than if I stayed, I know I would have blown & when I blow it usually involves very loud yelling & me throwing things(not at anyone, just the need to break something)so this was far kinder.

Anyhow, owner finally showed up & called me a cab & gave the names of a couple of hotels that might have a room. Turns out this was the week when students & their parents showed up to get settled in for the start of school, well it is a college town. The cab came & got me & I told him that I was trying to find a place for the night & had the names of a couple of places, he asked why I wasn’t staying where he picked me up & everything came pouring out! This nice man, Seth, wound up taking me around to 6 different hotels & turned off the meter & insisted on only charging me a flat 10 pounds! Finally found a room at the Travel Lodge. By this time I am not in good shape at all, I was close to falling on my face, could hardly stay in an upright position, my back was bent into a C, couldn’t straighten it, had a fever & pain was just overwhelming, that & I felt really bad about whole situation. Now I started to get a little paranoid about the hotel, there was no 2nd lock on the door & no phone in the room & everytime someone walked down the hall it sound like door knob was being messed with. I went on twitter to try & calm myself down. I was scared & I don’t scare easy, but being by myself in a different country(yes, I know it was my choice), sick & in so much pain was just getting to me. I was tweeting, DMing, with two of my twitter friends, Mr_Bizza & striped_mouse, both helped me calm down & striped mouse went on line on found 4 or 5 different hotels in London(I was so out it the finding a room in London just never entered my mind) that had a room for the next night & sent me the links. I found a really nice room in Earl’s Court next to South Kennsington. Striped Mouse really saved my ass! She helped me more than I can ever say, knowing I had not only somewhere to stay the next night in London but somewhere nice was such a load off my mind that I didn’t even realize was there! And Mr Bizza helped me feel better about myself in the situation. I really don’t know how I would have made through the night with out these 2 people! Or the next 2 days for that matter.Well decided to try & get some sleep, I put my suitcase in front of the door & moved a chair in front of that, I figured anyone trying to get in room would at least make alot of noise. Well, I got up & went out front to have a cigarette & got to talking with a couple of businessmen & a older couple who were going to a wedding & were outside for the same reason & discovered that my over tired brain had just run away with itself, the Travel Lodge was just a cheap hotel that businessmen traveling & people wanting some place cheap & clean stayed at. Hey, if your brain has never gone into overdrive & ran away with itself under difficult circumstances then cheers to you. Well I went back to room & threw away anything that I didn’t need to try & lighten my suitcase, it just seemed to be getting heavier & got repacked, checked out & got front desk to get me a cab to head to the train station. I got lucky again with getting a cab nice cab driver, I needed to stop by an ATM before going the station & this cabbie turned off the meter & he was only charging me 10 pounds! The cab drivers in Oxford are great guys! Well, got to the train station & got on train & settled in on the train. It wasn’t a bad trip, took about 45 minutes to get to London & get the worst cab driver in Great Britain! This ass didn’t even get out to help with my bags! I told him the name of the hotel, The Amsterdam Hotel in Earl’s Court & off we went to the hotel. During this trip he did not say one word & then he pulls up in front of the Earls Court tube station, I said “This isn’t the hotel.| & he said he knew that & needed address. Why didn’t he mention this some where in the 30 freaking minute trip! Thankfully hotel was just around the corner a half a block behind us, so then he has to decide to make a U turn in that freaking traffic! He pulls up in front of hotel & doesn’t get out of cab to help me with my luggage! Prick! If a nice young who was just getting ready to check in hadn’t offered to take it up the steps I might still be there trying to do it myself! As the woman who own’s the hotel was checking me in I asked what times the front doors lock at night because I smoked & she told me the front doors were always open & told me she had a nice smaller room with it’s own balcony & that I could I could smoke out there. This was absolutely great news! Because… wait for it… there were more stairs! A curve staircase with those narrow steps! The thought of those stairs! But it was the stairs or the lift! My towel closet is bigger & I have a small towel closet! Seriously, there was room for just 1 person. But anyway, the room was small, but it was lovely & there was the French door that open outward onto a proper balcony! And it look out over the this very pleasant back English garden. First thing I had to do was email my sister to let her know I was at a nice place & okay. She was worried about me after everything that had gone on & with my back giving out, so had to let her know I was okay. then guess what time it was? That’s right! Time for a pint & small bite! Well as luck would have it there was a nice pub just around the corner. So I headed over there. I got myself a nice English ale & ordered the hummus, I figured it couldn’t be to bad, right? It was the best hummus I’ve ever had! It was served with 4 inch by half inch rectangles of chibata bread that was pan toasted the way real croutons are & the Hummus was wonderfully light in texture & tasted soooo good. I can’t remember the name of the pub But you can find it at the corner of Earl’s Court Rd. & Hogarth Rd.

The rest of the afternoon I spent taking in my surroundings, looking at the different shops & a few things I needed & then headed back to hotel & totally repacked everything. I couldn’t stop to rest, I knew that if I did I so just crash & I just couldn’t do that yet. I did go back out to get a bite  & then worked on this blog, not this one blog but as a whole. I’m just going to trust that sentence makes sense cause I’m not going to read it. Well I did finally crash. Then got up at 7:30am, I had to leave for the airport at 9:30. The other stuff was just checking out, cab ride to airport, more lugging, all that fun stuff. Notice the very heavy sarcasm. The only thing of note was the airport itself once you got past security. There’s a freaking Harrods at the freaking airport! I kid you not! If I could have afforded it I could have bought a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.  There was a really good looking raw bar. When I got to the gate my traveling companion was there & we talked some, she had had a nice time as far as she said. The flight boarded & we were in business economy, after they shut the doors of the plane the flight attendants told all of us that since flight was so undersold that we could have our own row if we wanted. Well I went & got me a seat next to window, had like 4 pillows & blankets put my seat belt on at it’s loosest, took a valium, turned on the little tv on the back of the seat in front of me, snuggled up & dozed for the better part of 4 hours, the last 4 1/2 hours spent watching tv. Finally landed, by this time I’m truly not in a good mood, it had been 14 hours since I had had a cigarette! And oh joy. then came customs. What fun that was was & stupid, get your bags & then you have to recheck them & go through baggage claim again! When I got to baggage claim I found me a sky cap, gave him money & he went to get luggage & lug it for me, out to the shuttle & put bags on to shuttle for me.(An aside, my traveling companion & I got off the plane & went through customs together & when we got to baggage claim I went out to have a cigarette before luggage. When I came back she had left to head to ticketing) When we got to my car the driver put my suitcase in trunk for me. And I headed home. When I got home my son was waiting outside for me & he brought in my luggage. No more lugging! And the I was attacked by dogs!

Okay, that basically ends our story, but there is one more chapter, an appendix if you will. I think I figured out how to post pictures & there are a few things that occurred to me, this one will be short I promise. Then I get to think about what I want to write about next.


About francinesplace

I like to read, draw & write. I tend to write the way I talk. I wander a bit & usually get to my point. Some times get lost & never know where I'll wind up! Come along for the ride.
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