Yesterday was a day I won’t forget.
As I said in this post, I was having a lot of frustrations with East Midland Trains, and decided to come back by Virgin from Birmingham.
I also decided to make a day of travelling, as I had someone with an idea, to meet in Manchester, so I decided to go via Preston and then come in to Manchester from the north west.
I left on the 08:30 from Euston and my main reason to go to the city was to see Preston bus station and the city’s buses. Although, I did walk around the market and the shopping area, visit the Preston Martyrs Memorial, looking unsuccessfully for a cup of coffee. It is not a city centre of which to be proud, as I mused here.
Arriving in Eccles, I bought a day travelcard for the trams and then explored some of the new lines, before going back Carluccio’s in Piccadilly station to have my meeting.
I then took trains 4 and 5, from Manchester to Derby after my meeting, saw the match which was a crazy four-all draw and then came back into Euston at 01:30 this morning, using trains 6 and 7.
I’m a bit tired this morning, but it was a good day and it could have been much worse if Ipswich had lost. It would also have been a lot more expensive, if I’d decided to partake of some of dubious and very expensive hospitality of East Midlands Trains.
I must say this for Travelodge, who when I decided to not use the room I had booked, allowed me to painlessly cancel it with no charge over the Internet.
I was running a few minutes late after my meeting in Manchester Piccadilly and eventually, I got on a train to Sheffield. It was the usual overcrowded TransPennine Express going to somewhere like Scunthorpe. Hopefully, when they finally sort out and electrify the cross-Pennine routes and Piccadilly station, you’ll always go to the same platform to get trains to places like Sheffield and Liverpool. at least though there were plenty of staff about and the train I needed was not in the platforms at the back of the station.
But I didn’t get to Sheffield in time to get a train to Derby that would get me to Pride Park in time for the start of the match. Nothing was late except my start time at Piccadilly and I caught a Cross Country train that would get in to Derby at 19:51. However, someone decided to try a spot of attempted murder on the train and when we got to Derby, the Police locked us all in for a few minutes until they made an arrest.
So I decided to take a taxi. If you know the area, walking to Pride Park from the station is not that far. But the taxi driver gave me a tour of the city and then dropped me at the point of the ground furthest from the Away Supporters End. By the time I got into the ground, Ipswich were leading by three goals to one.
We were all ecstatic at half time and wondered how many it will be. But in the Ipswich were almost lucky to hang on for a four-all draw.
I then walked back to the station to get the 22:02 train to Birmingham for the Virgin train home.
But it was running thirty minutes late. Luckily there was another train and I piled in to try to get to Birmingham in time.
I made the Virgin train, by the skin of my teeth and it was a few minutes early in London at 01:15.
But why did I need all that hassle to get back, when most train companies, but not East Midland Trains, provide a train back to the capital after a match.
Although, I’m an Ipswich Town supporter, I live in London, a short bus or Underground ride from Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations. So as this week, Ipswich are playing at Derby and Sheffield Wednesday, you’d think it would logical that tomorrow, I go to Derby and on Saturday I go to Sheffield from St. Pancras.
You would be wrong!
As there is no direct return train from Derby back to St. Pancras, I decided to go via Preston and Manchester to Derby, as I have things I want to see for this blog and someone to meet in Manchester. The latter solves my supper problem, as we’re meeting in Carluccio’s in Piccadilly. I can also get an excellent gluten-free breakfast on Virgin trains on the way up.
I did think about staying overnight in the Travelodge by Derby station, but after trying to buy a ticket to get back on Wednesday morning, I decided that the prices on offer, were just too steep. Other similar distance journeys, early in the morning to London, were certainly cheaper than those on offer from East Midland Trains.
So I decided to get home via Birmingham and Virgin Trains for £22.00 after the match. And that includes First Class from Birmingham to Euston. But I do get into London at 01:30 on Wednesday morning.
On Saturday, I’m going to Sheffield via Lincoln, as I have an old friend I want to see and can get a train from Lincoln to Sheffield. It’s not as roundabout as you’d think.
But I’ve done this before, as last time, I went to Sheffield Wednesday, I went via Doncaster, as the First Class on East Coast, is so much better than that on East Midland Trains.
I’ve watched all of Ipswich Town’s competitive matches so far this season.
The performances have not been as good as everybody wants, but they have been entertaining and certainly a lot better than we have seen in recent seasons.
The star with five goals so far has been David McGoldrick. With many of the teams in the Premier League struggling to score goals, I would suspect that someone will come calling. I suspect it could be a difficult job to tell them to go away, so will Mick McCarthy use his Irish charm or Yorkshire plain-speaking.
In fact the one thing that we can make a real judgement on now, is McCarthy’s choice of players, as only time will tell how good the team turns out to be. In David McGoldrick, Christophe Berra, Cole Skuse, Paul Anderson, Anthony Wordsworth, Frank Nouble and Dean Gerken, I think he has made a good set of signings. I won’t add Ryan Tunnicliffe, who is only on loan. But surely, Manchester United wouldn’t have loaned Ipswich such a good player, if he wasn’t going to benefit from his time with the club.
It’s definitely a case of so far so good! We’ll know more about how good this side is at the end of the week after the games at Derby and Sheffield Wednesday.
i returned back today from some shopping and found the tickets I ordered yesterday from Ipswich Town on the mat. And then after I’d been in for a few minutes, a courier delivered some Coagucheck strips from Roche, that I’d ordered from their web site on Sunday.
I’d also had a good shop, getting the cord trousers, I wanted for the winter, to replace the ones of the same make, I bought over twenty years ago. They’re still the same size.
Ipswich drew one each with Birmingham yesterday.
Yet again, Town lost points from bad luck, as it was a deflected shot that beat Dean Gerken.
Ipswich’s goal was scored by Christophe Berra, who is a Scottish international.
Mick McCarthy seems to have got in quite a few players this summer, but he doesn’t seem to be forking out a lot of money.
The latest sighting Jordan Adekunle from Crawley is seventeen, so I don’t suppose he broke the bank.
On the other hand,not one of the new signing seems to be a complete dud!
I went to Reading today to see Ipswich play. We did lose 2-1, but Jay Tabb scored our goal.
He is not one of the tallest players being only 1.70 m., but judging by the reception he got from the fans at his old club; Reading, he was popular with the fans.
In some ways he reminded me very much of Terry Dyson, who I saw play for Spurs many times in their famous double-winning side of 1960-61. Dyson was very much an irritant and got a lot of his success by being persistent and in the right place at the right time. Tabb seems to play in a similar vein. According to Wikipedia, the much more successful, Kevin Phillips is the same height, and he’s just signed to play in the Premier League at 40. Having met Kevin Keegan, I can attest that he’s not much taller than my 1.71 m.
Given the fact that the next batsman in line to play cricket for England; James Taylor, is only 1.68 m., do we sometimes put overdue emphasis on size?
They are talking about depression on BBC Breakfast this morning, saying that more anti-depressants are being prescribed.
Over the years, I used to suffer from mild depression, but generally my mother or later my wife, used to pull me out of it.
Since being diagnosed as a coeliac, fifteen years ago, I haven’t seemed to have suffered much, if at all. And it’s not that I haven’t had something to get depressed about, what with the death of my wife and son to cancer and my stroke!
But then due to my gluten-free diet, I’m getting all the vitamins I need, as my gut now works properly.
But I’ve been rather fed up in the last few weeks, as I don’t like the hot weather, the lack of an intelligent lady to take to art galleries, the theatre or the cinema, the non-progress on my building works and no football to watch live or on the television.
It all gets better this weekend with the football season starting for Ipswich at Reading and Stevenage!
All I really need now, is someone, preferably female and intelligent, to share meals and experiences.
I do wonder how many of those prescribed anti-depressants, just need a decent experience or two to give them a lift!
This year Ipswich Town are away at Doncaster on Boxing Day. They’ll of course be no trains.
But how many other matches will be impossible to get to?
Derby on Tuesday, October 1st
Leeds on Tuesday, January 28th
Yeovil on Tuesday, March 11th
Huddersfield on Tuesday, April 8th