At some point a month or so ago, it seemed like a great idea to start my research adventure on the 13th of December, even though I knew that my work Christmas party was on the Monday beforehand. I didn’t drink much, to be fair, just a single beaker of wine (they’d run out of wine glasses by the time we made it there after a show shift), but I had stayed much later than I planned putting the world to rights with a lovely colleague. So, dragging myself out of bed at 7am to pack, check my bag four times and leave early enough not to be affected by the ludicrous amount of problems on the underground, was challenging to say the least.
But I made it to Euston on time, to discover that my train was terminating early in Northampton. Not such a good start. Trying not to worry, I lumped my enormous hikers rucksack onto a spare seat and plopped down next to it. Much of this first journey was spent staring at the scenery that moved past the window, and very enjoyable it was too; when one is used to London’s tightly packed buildings, even one open field among buildings becomes exciting. Many notes were taken in my novel notebook (yup, I have one, ask the creative collective, they’ve seen the rainbow highlighting) about scenery that could conceivably still exist in 18 years time, when the novel is primarily set.
Having made my connection at Northampton, I managed a little snooze on the train, trying to ignore the persistent fear of missing my stop, even though the train terminated there. Hey, I can’t be held accountable for my sleep-deprived brain.
Here's my itinerary, for those who are interested:
London - Birmingham (13th Dec)
Birmingham - Manchester (14th Dec)
Manchester-Leeds (14th Dec)
Leeds - Durham (15th Dec)
Durham - Carlisle (15th Dec)
Walking a section of Hadrian's wall (16th Dec)