UK Tour 2002
Saturday 23 March 2002
In New York and Israel I found it easy to upload my diary as I went along. Internet terminals in the major cities and smaller towns seemed readily available, however, so far, as we've been traveling in England it's not been at all easy to find them. At the moment the Internet is viewed very much as a passing fad by many over here, and in a way due the way the interface and means of carrying the data through the Internet is going to change over the next 10 years there's an element of truth to that idea, but the Internet is going to remain with us in one form or another and one way forward is to create portals that are easily accessible. It's both financially and socially beneficial to do this if we want to keep up with the Jones' around the world. When we were in Looe one person told us that they had tried to create an Internet cafe, but had found that their leaseholder had stipulated that due to a conflict of interest (i.e. the Leaseholder wanted to make one too) that it would not be possible. When we were there there wasn't a publicly available Internet portal at all, just the local computer school, if you knew where to find it. Eventually most people will probably have a mobile fast Internet connection, a slow version already exists in the form of the Nokia Communicator. For a long time to come there'll still be a need for Internet kiosks because just as with normal telephones even though many people use mobile phones there's still a need for public pay phones. OK I'll stop ranting on now! So anyway that's my excuse for not uploading the diary on a daily basis.
We left Looe at about 10:30am and made good speed on our journey to Southport, which is just North of Liverpool about 350 miles away from Looe.
On the way we stopped off at Nikki's home town where firstly we had lunch at a supermarket cafe and then we visited Nikki's parents. While in the cafe queue we got Colin to pass bits of Scampi to us from the hot plates while the "dinner ladies" were looking elsewhere so we could "try before we buy". By the time we got to pick up our meals we were already full. Nikki forgot to say thank you to the woman serving her. When I corrected her the "dinner lady" smiled at me and proceeded to give me a double portion of chips. Next time I'll have a go at one of the others too and see if I can get more Scampi.
Before going to Nikki's parents we had teased Nikki that we were all going to act very strangely in front of her parents and be inappropriate, so the look of cold fear on her face as we entered her house was an absolute pleasure. Needless to say we did all behave ourselves.
Nikki has a bit of a private school accent so we partly expected to be introduced to an aristocratic Lord and Lady when we met her parents, they were in fact very warm down to earth people and it was all a bit disconcerting trying to see the connection. Mind you Nikki does say that she feels all maternal if I bow my head down, look up at her with puppy dog eyes and say in a high pitched baby voice "Mamma".
Nikki drove the next 120 mile section, with me in the background regularly saying "you're doing a hundred now". "Oh am I?" came the innocent reply. "It's your car, it's just so powerful". With that I just had to relent.
When we stopped off at a service station we had a group photo taken.
We realised that, so far, as a group we work together quite well, but as with most relationships that are not built on fore knowledge there's always a gamble involved, so it was more a case of good luck rather than credit on our behalf.
As we've been traveling I've been training the group to tell people we meet what we're up to and to give them the website address for this diary. We decided to make up business cards at a kiosk in the service station. We were able to create a basic design and print the cards there and then. So if you've come to this site having received one of those cards "Welcome".
We finally got to our new accommodation which we shall be staying in for a week, it's a large mobile home. Determined to get into the spirit of things we immersed ourselves immediately in to the caravan park's culture and went to the evening cabaret.
If you've ever gone to a Karaoke bar then you'll probably understand just how good a lot of people are at singing and performing. Tonight one of the performers struck me with the quality of his voice so much so that I hung on 'til the end to hear him perform the last song of the night. Earlier as I listened to him sing, Lee's sister Linda phoned me. - Lee is the friend of mine who came to New York with me-, She was in tears because she'd just lost an essay she'd been writing because the floppy disk had corrupted and she hadn't backed it up elsewhere. Losing important data is worse than losing hardware sometimes and this problem is one of the commonest I have to help people deal with.
I remember feeling quite upset when I was younger because someone told me that the Soul has no memory. Nowadays I'm agnostic and not sure if we even have a Soul, but the idea of whether memory is so important still perplexes me. To continue to exist but without the intimate memories of loved ones, places, and moments seems almost as bad as a complete death. A few years ago I watched a Japanese film in which shortly after dying, people were asked to watch through their lives on video and choose a moment from it that they wanted to take with them in to the afterlife. This would be the only memory that they could take with them. For me the birth of my children or a moment spent with them would be what I would take. It's an interesting question for all of us.