And so to Whitehaven, which we reach with 4 train journeys, each slightly more interesting than the last, and with the final one pottering along on the edge of land just before you drop down into the grey Atlantic Ocean.
Admittedly, we left the house at 0815 and get to Whitehaven at 1745, so it’s taken us 9.5 hours to travel just over 300 miles…which means that it’s not the fastest way to get about, but this will undoubtedly be the greenest holiday Mrs Emu and myself have ever enjoyed. Well up until now, anyway.
Anyway, into Whitehaven, which has a fairly despondent feel to it; ideal for a seaside break with Morrissey, or possibly to breed threatening dogs, which seem to be all the rage round these parts. Time was, when Whitehaven was a huge port, with rum and sugar going in and big ships going out. In its day, it was built up in a grand style by the Lowther family, who effectively built it as a new town, and, rather excitingly, it was used as the template for Manhattan. Whitehaven’s most famous son is John Paul Jones, who left for the colonies, pretty much invented and then commanded the US navy, and rather inconsiderately used his new role to invade England in 1778. Not much was heard from him for a couple of hundred years, until he cropped up again playing bass guitar for popular beat combo Led Zeppelin. Although that may conceivably been a different John Paul Jones.
Wandered into town to find a curry house, and called the kids on the phone; 30 seconds into the call we both managed to get blasted from above by a passing seagull. Pinpoint accuracy for our feathered enemy, managing to pepper both our hair + jeans, and also the park bench. Astonishing just how much shit can fit into a relatively small animal. Apparently, it’s good luck to have a bird shit on your head – although I may have slightly mistimed this news to Mrs E as she struggled to come to terms with her new ‘distressed’ look.
So we swiftly made our way to the curry house, where a handy internet connection informed us tht not only was a bird crapping on your head a portent of good luck, but so was fingers tingling (check, although might have been to do with cycling with no gloves), when it rains and the sun is shining (check), and when you meet up with a cow (not today, but I have high hopes for tomorrow). See http://www.wofs.com/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=37&task=view&id=540 for more nonsense factoids. Including the great luck that you will have should the date of your birth add up to 8. Which Mrs E’s does. So all being well, it will be a lucky day tomorrow. We’ll let you know…
PS hot towels at end of curry are ideal for cleaning up seagull poo