Sunday, August 23, 2009

I’ve always seen Plymouth as a rather drab place in which one is forced to run a gamut of numerous speed cameras en route to and from the ferry to Santander. But my old friend, Frank, today introduced me to the pleasures of its charming old quarter, down by the harbour from which the Pilgrim Fathers set sail to the USA in the Mayflower around 1620. And where we were later able to witness the heavily-policed bacchanalias I’ve only ever seen on British TV before. Truly do the youth of Britain enjoy themselves in a unique way. Perhaps only Hoggarth could do justice to it all but I do have a couple of photos that I’ll post in a day or two. One abiding memory will be the night-long queues of ten or more young folk at each of the bank ATMs, preparing to blow their week’s wages on semi-naked drunken revels. And the fleet of taxis standing by to take them from one watering hole to another.

Anyway, two things I’ve not encountered during ten days in the UK are:- 1. anyone with swine flu, and 2. a motorway (autopista) free of lane closures caused by road works. In fact, I wonder whether there’s a single motorway in all of England, Scotland and Wales on which your progress will not be impeded by these. Even at 11.15 on a Thursday night just south of Knutsford. Or ‘Cranford’ as some of you will know it. Spain’s highways are blessedly free of these but this may simply be because they’re newer. Perhaps we have this pleasure in store for us in the years ahead. Meanwhile, though, it’ll be at least another ten years before the A8 along the northern coast is completed, giving us unimpeded travel between Santander and Galicia. Hey ho. Back to the fray.

4 comments:

Anthea said...

So the youth of Britain enjoy themselves in a truly unique way? I've long agreed with that sentiment, Colin, thinking that Spanish youth were a little more civilised, and then the other evening there was a spot on Spanish TV interviewing young people "enjoying" themselves down at the beach in various parts of Spain. Apart from added sunshine, it reminded me of Oldham town centre on a Friday night, I'm sorry to say! Am I growing old and disillusioned?

Colin said...

Yes. Join the club. You're now in danger of ditching The Guardian . . .

Tom said...

'ere, that's my home town you're talking about! I learned much about disportment and dissolution in Plymouth though less in the Barbican (the only part of the old town that survived the Luftwaffe and town planners), as on the notorious Union Street.

Naturally, the countryside around Plymouth (and particularly the South Hams district which is where I grew up) is absolutely stunning. I thoroughly recommend a trip to Modbury, Bigbury, Salcombe and Dartmouth next time you're in the area.

Colin said...

Will do, Tom. Thanks.