Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ferry up the Mersey

Ship's bells woke me at 6am, and we were asked to leave our cabins by 6.45 am.

Got admitted to the top deck about 7.15am and let Bondi out of the car for a stroll as I looked across the Mersey to Liverpool. At 7.30am, the boat was secured to its dock, and trucks began to roll out, and I sat in the car till 8.30 am when it was finally my turn to exit. It took about half an hour to travel a short distance through the Mersey docks as the traffic lights didn't allow a free right-turn towards the Mersey tunnel.

Rolled into Wigan about 9.30am to see the Pierces and do some (not unexpected) computer servicing. I got back on the road at 1.15 and came to a near standstill for about 45 minutes on the M6 due to an earlier accident. Stopped into an M&S roadside stop for coffee but found that the standard of their Ritazza coffee stands had declined drastically. Although boasting that they make coffee in the traditional manner, I don't believe it's a tradition known in Italy ie making bland overheated (see "flesh-melting temperatures") brews in the amount of time that someone at a roadside expresso counter in Italy would serve 5 times as many customers with coffee 5 times as good. The "servers" were too busy chatting to each other, or wiping the foaming tube with a disgusting rag to pay much attention to the long queue before them. I'm reminded of a so-called barista at Starbucks in Brighton who was asked to make a macchiato for me by the cashier: "what's that?" was their response. Do any of these companies provide any training before putting them in front of customers or to work destroying the natural flavours in their "freshly ground" coffee beans???? Arghhh.

Tootled down the M6 and then the M40 into Ealing by about 6pm. Listened to the BBC Radio 3 adaptation of Alan Bennett's play "The History Boys".

1 comment:

  1. Andrew7:00 am

    Welcome back to the UK. You've had a fantastic tour of Ireland. I'm just a little envious!