Work means stress, and eventually it became too much for me.
On the morning of 7th August 2018 I woke at about 3:00am and was suddenly excited.
I felt wide awake and full of beans.
I had an idea.
I got up and turned the computer on.
I had a plan – it was work that day, but instead, I wanted to go to the seaside.
The weather was good, i.e. warm or even hot. What a sumer we’d been having that year.
I thought of places you could get to the seaside on the train and started researching.
I was trying to get to Llandudno.
I tried booking the tickets for a train at 04:38, but I was too late – you couldn’t pick up a ticket if the time to the train leaving is short, and it was too short.
A change of tack was needed
I looked at trains in the other direction.
Down to the south
Down to Brighton, which I know well (and has a nudist beach).
And bingo – I found it.
Your train leaves at 06:03 from Platform 5
So I had to prepare myself
I put on my blue loin cloth and packed a back with something to read and other essentials like cigars, a shirt, a notebook and a camera.
I had loads of time and it was just beginning to get light.
200 yards down the street I saw a black cat by a wall. He looked so cute, I took his picture.
The suddenly, I realised I had missed a trick. It would be a whole lot better if I had my guitar.
So I hot footed it (barefoot) back home and got it.
As I approached the station I put a letter through a friends door explaining that I’d run away to the seaside and asking him to telephone work to say that I wouldn’t be in today. (I was supposed to be).
At the train station I collected my ticket from the machine and went to sit outside. I had about 35 minutes until the train was due.
I took out my guitar and started to play
As I started on ‘The Cricket’s Song’ I realised that that song is about being naked in the forest and I was wearing my loin cloth, so I took off the loin cloth and played the song totally naked, as is appropriate
I put the loin cloth back on and played several songs, keeping an eye on the railway behind me.
At the appointed hour I put on my shirt on too and went into the station, to Platform 5 and caught my train.
The train journey was uneventful, as was the tube journey. Then I got on my train on the Brighton Line and settled in a seat in a near empty carriage.
My enthusiasm for the trip had ebbed away and now I began to wonder what on earth was I doing?
I got a phone call from Mike to ask after me (it astonished me that it had taken him this long to get in contact) and I reiterated my doubts about the trip. I said I’d complete my journey and then come home soon.
I got to Brighton and then went to the information desk to get times for trains to return. I got a list, but decided not to return immediately for after all, I was at the seaside. I headed down the hill.
At St. Peter’s church I saw the space where The Warren had had their area that year. Of course, I hadn’t been to Brighton Fringe in 2018. It brought back good and bad memories of my time(s) in Brighton. The grass was very brown, but did seem to be recovering.
I spoke to Mike again.
I wandered down towards the front and went up St. James Street where there are lots of cafes. I went into a cafe that sold Spanish fusion food and bought a spicy Spanish pastie. I talked to the man in there telling him I’d run away. He said to be careful and look after myself.
I took my pasty and went down to the beach.
I ate my pasty then found a spot on the beach close to the water.
I took off everything except my breech cloths and went into the water. I was pleasant. I had a little swim, then climbed back out and sat in the sunshine to dry off.
Then I decided that I’d had enough and headed back up towards the station, going through the North Lanes this time.
I contacted Mike to tell ask him to meet me in London because I wasn’t feeling safe. We agreed to meet at Victoria Station.
I got on the train for London.
When I got to London Victoria I was early for meeting Mike so I left the station and went and sat in a small park called Grosvenor Gardens. I found a discarded newspaper and started on the crossword.
When Mike had arrived at Victoria I went looking for him. Found him standing outside another entrance looking the other way.
We went down into the underground and got on a train that was very full up. We sat down.
It was so hot and stuffy I was struggling to breathe, taking great gulps of air.
I was really pleased when we got to Euston and got off the train. I could breathe again.
We got on the train and came back to Rugby.
I walked home.