Sunday, 13 September 2009

Saturday 12th September 09

Up ridiculously early before 6am as the train to Preston is at just after 7am. I'd already got my ticket so I parked and locked my bike and got my stuff and got onto the train which was waiting as it started at York. I had agreed to meet Robin, who was coming down from Darlington, and I saw his train come in and he just got to the Preston train on time.

I'm very glad he did as he is such an entertaining chap, always full of anecdotes and funny stories, and I enjoy his company both when he's working as an entertainer and when he's travelling or socialising with me. So we caught up a year's worth of stuff, and at Leeds 'The Wonderful Stevie' got on so we suggested he sat with us. Stevie is the calmest and quietest of the three of us, but even so, the conversation flowed and erupted into laughter many times. It was amusing to find that all three of us were vegetarian, have never owned a car, have a pony-tail hair style, don't like football, rugby or cricket... and I'm sure there were other co-incidences too.

So, we all piled out at Preston and squeezed into a 'black cab' taxi which was a tight fit as Robin is large and between us we have a lot of weird luggage. The Harrington Building at UCLAN isn't that far away but a shared taxi was a good idea. We spent a while waiting to be told where to go, and when the person with that decision-making responsibility arrived, we all went to get changed and get to work. I was at the Harrington Building, where new students trickled through to collect keys. I had plenty of time to practice new tricks, including some 3-ball juggling (something which doesn't really 'grab' me) including juggling 3 balls whilst on the unicycle, this was a first for me, and certainly looked like it, so I was glad there was hardly anyone around.

After lunch Stevie and I were taken to Roeburn Hall, a halls of residence where all the rest of the action was... the other entertainers and two bands. And of course, hundreds of students and their families, many of whom were young enough to enjoy balloon models. I enjoyed devilsticking to the music and jolly repartee with the students and families.

Just before 4 I was taken back to the Student Union Building, '53 degrees' and almost instantly there was a bus which took me to near my bed and breakfast at Ashton, on the corner of Tulketh Road and Victoria Parade. I checked in, paid and collapsed onto my bed and was soon asleep.

I woke again at 8pm. I hopped on my unicycle and went to visit my friends Stephen and Meg, who live just round the corner. They were about to have their evening meal, as Stephen had done a 50 mile sponsored cycle ride and had only been in half an hour. I stayed about 10 minutes and unicycled down to Watery Lane to ring Robin and tell him I didn't want to come into town to meet for a drink and take away, and I went to a Spar to get a sandwich and some fruit for my tea. And another quick pedal up to the BnB to eat.

Later, at 11, I decided I should phone Gill and tell her I was OK, so I hopped on the unicycle again, cycled up to the Blackpool Road and turned right towards the Woodplumpton Road junction. I spotted a baby hedgehog crossing the bridge over the railway, so I stopped and walked behind it to make sure it didn't go into the road, and when at the other side, I helped it into Haslam Park.

It was good to chat to Gill who'd had a good day. We spent about 20 minutes on the phone, the full 40 pence-worth allocation. Then back to the BnB where I put my laptop on and deleted loads, as my inbox had overfilled.

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