Friday, October 20, 2006

Another 2 weeks off...(or, 'back to the old country')

The rollercoaster that has been 2006 continues unabated!

Last week, I returned to Japan after a sudden and unexpected fortnight in the UK. It was my first trip back there in about two years (the longest period of time off the island so far), and involved trekking across quite a large amount of the country. I was in London about three times, in Brighton twice, Shoreham too, plus North Yorkshire and the Welsh Valleys. A very British odyssey, it turned out to be too.

I managed to catch up with many people there, friends and family alike, which was the best part of it all. It was quite a strange trip though, as it reminded me once again what I loved about the place and why I left in the first place. Coming to Britain from Japan can be quite a surprise as much about Britain simply doesn't work as well as Japan. The trains trundled, slowed down and sometimes stopped completely, as they always did. Traipsing around London with a suitcase was a drag as escalators seem to be in short supply on the Underground (I felt for the mothers with pushchairs or the people in wheelchairs who have to do it evey day). The pavements are not as smooth to walk or wheel something on as the asphalt sidewalks here are. I was reminded of Britain's 'can't do' culture, which can cancel out some of the nostalgia felt for the place. I won't even get started on trying to make a telephone call and reaching an automated limbo land or a callcentre in Bangalore.

Nevertheless, there is no green quite like that of the pleasant land of the English countryside - a place that can veer between the most beautiful and bleakest of places to be even within the space of a day.

There was the strange dual feeling of fitting in and not fitting in at the same time. As usual, time doesn't really permit me going on into too great a detail about the whole trip here, so instead I'll let a few images from the journey do the talking instead. The following series of pictures are amongst those that will be added to the 'Images Of Britain' album over on my Image Gallery - when I get the chance to do so.

Bicycles outside Brighton Station

York Station, on the way up North

Railway arches beside Scarborough Station

Cloudscape at dusk over the North Yorkshire Moors

Throxenby Mere, North Yorkshire

Pub sign for The Leeds Arms in Scarborough

Anne Bronte's grave, Scarborough

Fish 'n' chips in Scarborough

Scavenging seagull, after those fish 'n' chips

Buckets and spades, for beach fun

Sticks of Scarborough Rock

Back in London, at Baker Street Tube Station

Welsh sweet shop

Back alley in a Welsh valley

Washing line, complete with clothes pegs

Shadows across the platfom of Hove Station

Pissing rain at Heathrow, prior to departure


idleformat said...

Nice one man - was great to hook up with you in Brighton the other evening. See you over there next spring, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dom.
What were you doing back?
Did you make it back to Caaahdif?
Guess not judging by the photos. Next time give me a ring. it's been ages.