Friday, August 16, 2013

Invading the North

The worst thing about going home for summer is that all your friends from university disperse around the country, some quite far away. My next door neighbour and adopted brother for the last year happens to live in Doncaster. It really does suck that he is so far away and for the last few months I've really missed him and his girlfriend Emily. It does, however, give one the opportunity to invade the north.

So on Monday, Laura Dowse and myself jumped on a train from Kings Cross to Doncaster and attacked our two dearly missed friends. It was so lovely to see them both and they had loads planned for our four-day visit. The day we arrived, we took a tour of Doncaster in the car, checking out all the local hot spots. Then we went home and had dinner with Emily's parents who made us ham in coca cola. It sounds quite strange but I have to admit, it was delicious. The evening soon took the form of a bowling session where we were introduced to Josh and Emily's friends. They were lovely and although bowling is not exactly my idea of fun (mostly because I am atrocious at it) I had a really nice evening.

After a very bad decision of pulling an all nighter, we spent Tuesday at Alton Towers. I love rollercoasters. Nothing beats the adrenaline that rushes through your body as you're being strapped in tight before it begins. ‘Smiler’ was awesome, though the queue was insane and a slight kill-joy. Going to a theme park in the middle of the summer holidays was certainly not one of our best ideas.

Chatsworth House was next on the agenda, to see a beautiful stately home and walk around the grounds, which were filled with rather strange statues of curvaceous women and naked men. It did, however, have a maze and my confidence certainly overrode my skill. Whilst my friends teamed up, I took on the style of lone wolf and it wasn't long before I began to regret it. My attempts at cheating earned me nothing but scraped knuckles and even further confusion as to which way was out. My sense of direction certainly wouldn't earn me any awards. Despite the freezing cold (which northerners don't seem to register) we had a picnic with some yummy homemade cookies. I love being outdoors and I love food, so picnics are definitely up my street. That evening we went to a pub quiz, which somehow I thought I could revise for by using various iPhone apps. We lost enormously, but it turns out it’s a weekly occurrence so it didn’t feel quite so shameful. Some of the questions were near enough impossible, but the boys seemed to have a nice time drawing genital shaped objects on the quiz sheet. It is nice to know that I am not always the most immature person in the room.

Ironically our last day was probably my favourite. Josh lives right next to Yorkshire Wildlife Park and had never been, much to my disgrace, so we headed over early and got to see all the animals. I absolutely love lions, elephants, giraffes and goats; actually I love pretty much anything that doesn't possess wings and a beak. I think if Doncaster was my hometown I would certainly invest in an annual pass, stroking goats could become a weekly occurrence.

Eventually the day came to an end, and it was time to say goodbye to the wildlife, as well as Josh and Emily. Four days just didn't seem to be enough; I think if V Festival weren’t around the corner, I would certainly have 'missed' my train home.


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