Monday September 23rd
So Monday 23rd September Mrs Fay rejoices as I head back to work and an alarm set for 4.20am. After last working on July 31st it was a longer than planned break but I was back in the rat race. Luckily my work pants still fitted me and Mrs Fay might not have been rejoicing too much as she gave me a lift to Liverpool Lime Street around 4.50am and at 5.20am I was on the first of three trains en route to work in Hartlepool for 5 days. As we drove in we passed our favourite post beers place for a scran called the Botan. There were people stumbling out of there. Oh to be young again and a student eh. This sucker was going to work ! So the trains behaved themselves and I arrived at the office in Hartlepool around 9.15am. A famous passenger got on at Dewsbury the one and only Purple Aki complete with plastic bag. Last time I seen auld Aki was on Lark Lane in the late 1980’s. I hope not to see him for another 30 years. First days in jobs are always a slow thing with often numerous system access problems so I got on with the job of catching up on the working practices I need to learn for the new job. I did manage to walk past the Wetherspoons on my lunch noting where it was. Now I know he is a brexit knobhead but us Fay’s have no problem when it comes to beer. Indeed when my mum and dad moved to Clitheroe in 1992 we often had a pint in the Conservative club as it was the cheapest pint in Clitheroe and normally had a good “turn” on at the weekend. The Fay beer moral compass is well and truly broken. Before I knew it, it was time to head home. I say home. Home for 4 nights was to be the Travelodge in Hartlepool Marina. Weird being in a Travelodge on business as I normally only stay in them when attending a family party and have memories of some stinking hangovers on a Sunday morning. As I had had literally nothing to eat all day I was going to treat myself to a Burger King for tea. No Burger King in Hartlepool. I headed into the Hartlepool night and had a nice long walk along the coastal path and around the Marina. Always like being by the sea being spoilt by having the River Mersey by ours and nice to see trollies and bikes in the mudflats to remind me of home. As if by magic I came across an M&S Food shop so that was tea sorted for the next three nights. I was sensible though and decided not to purchase any of their beautiful rose wine back to my hotel. Lots of empty pubs on my walk around and as you can see below they dont make them like they used to !
Tuesday September 24th
So day two in the office and with most system access sorted it was off to work I go. Very slowly as the contract I am on is quite audit heavy so need to remember to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. I was back in my hotel for around 5pm and with the news being filled by Trump and Joris Bonson I went for a walk in the rain !! I had a proper nose around the Marina which was all out on its own but there were a decent selection of bars and restaurants. On this walk I came across a few monkeys.
Seems that the term “Monkey Hanger” means somebody from Hartlepool. According to local folklore, the term originates from an incident in which a monkey was hanged in Hartlepool during the Napoleonic Wars. There is even a Monkey song. Anway it was back to the hotel after learning that and onto watch Hartlepool United. The ground was near to the hotel and after asking a steward the best place to go I was in the corner of one stand on an open terrace in front of the stand. I went for a pre match drink but couldn’t find any soft drinks so had to have a cider.
Strangely the corner of the stand behind me was where it was all at but I was just happy to be standing on some terracing again. The match was Hartlepool United versus Chesterfield in the National League. Hartlepool had been at the centre of a racism incident the match before and we all held up our anti racism banners as the teams ran out.
So the match kicked off and I soon realised how spoilt I was to be watching the champions of europe !! With just 9 mins gone Hartlepool took the lead through Peter Kioso. Chesterfield were poor but had some massive “grock” who was about 6 foot 8 and as I expected the grock Tom Denton equalised on 37mins. The second half wasn’t up to much and it ended 1-1 and the home team went off to a chorus of boos. The Hartlepool ultras seemed more concerned with singing about “Darlo” who must be local rivals Darlington. A bit of fun just before half time when the Hartlepool mascot walked behind me in the gas between terracing and seating and rubbed my head much to the amusement of the local crowd !! So I and 2952 others headed off into the darkness of Hartlepool and me straight to bed in the hotel.
Wednesday September 25th
So work wise I was slowly getting into the swing of things and was again finished just before 5pm. Tonights entertainment was to be a jog. Who brings jogging gear when away with work. Well me the 17 stone athlete. As it was had a lovely 6 mile run along the coast down to the resort of Seaton Carew where I could spot a chippy and an arcade but I had to turnaround and head back to Hartlepool. Love running in new places. Makes it seem so much easier looking at new things whilst running and in the case out to the powerful North Sea letting your mind wander. Treated myself to some ice buns after my run and went for the 4 pack of pink instead of 6 pack of white trying to be good. Much to my amazement when I bit into the pink one it had jam inside. Never seen such genius in an ice bun before. I had found the local Popworld on my lunch today but as it was a 7am start on Thursday I swerved it (Was it even open ?) and was asleep before 10pm.
Thursday September 26th
So up that early I was too early for the hotel breakfast (More of that tomorrow) and I was in work for 7am. Things slowly getting better as I felt more conformatble with the working practices. The plus side of an early start was that I was finished for 3pm and I did have another jog planned but my knee was a bit sore after Wednesdays 6 miles so always listen to your body and I walked the planned route which was up to the Headlands area of Hartlepool. Once I got off the main road onto the promenade I was met with the below sign.
I asked a local what it was explaining my link to The Spion Kop but he had no idea. I was to later find out that the land running don was the Spion Kop Cemetery a disused cemetery on the coast. It was opened in 1856. The cemetery was formed from a combination of sand dune and ship’s ballast. It is closed to new burials and is now managed as a nature reserve. See this blog teaches you things (sometimes) Anyway an ever better promenade walk with lots of points of interest with some cracking houses and a couple of lighthouses along with some old war guns and harbours and several beaches and the north sea to keep you busy. There was even a few fellas surfing in the north sea. I walked past a local chippy and could not resist a small portion of seaside chips and as it was tonights walk ended up being 6.5 miles. I again was good and avoided the numerous pubs I walked past including The Pot House where two birds could be killed with one stone if you were that way inclined ??
So eventually back in my hotel waling past a few cranes in the docks hoping the next crane I see is in a field in Glastonbury next summer but more on that next weekend as the great ticket hunt takes place aghhhhhhhhh. Knackered once I was home I was again asleep handy and one last short day in Hartlepool left.
Friday September 27th
So my last hotel breakfast. Well breakfast in a box. Cornflakes, a muffin and some orange juice. Here was me hoping breakfast would be a unlimited amount of sausages to set me on the way. Didn’t like the muffins so they were Mrs Fay’s homecoming present. I was finished in work for 2pm with all my home working gear packed away to setup back in my bunker on my return to the Pool. I bid my farewells to the few faces I had met in the office and crossed my fingers the trains were to behave on the way home. Luckily enough they did if a tiny bit late arriving on the last leg and with one more Merseyrail train to navigate I was back home for around 7pm with a warm welcome from the dogs and most of the family and I even got a grunt and a hug from middle sprog Charlotte. I did have Desperados etc lined up but I was that knackered after my first week back at work I was in bed and asleep by 9.45 !! Waiting for the Merseyrail train da roof of today where coming in for nights out as I was heading home. Most probably the same lucky bastards who were falling out the Botan on Monday morning at 4.50am. As for me well I am truly back in the fucking rat race !!
Fay x x x x x x x x x x