{November 1, 2011}   Mysteries and Experiences

It’s been mad. Just mad.


This secret event I went to over the weekend was a great leap in an unknown direction. I had a rather lonely, half pleasant, half food-poisoned 13 hour coach journey across and around the country before arriving in beautiful, harsh Edinburgh. My god the architecture… I managed a chat with a friend who’s placed there for University before a nice comfortable nap in my cheap little hotel – the Edinburgh House Hotel. I was going to leave it nameless, but then I remembered that it has several bad reviews online that are entirely unjustified. It’s a lovely little place with rooms like you’d expect to see in holiday cabins in American TV shows, plus a TV with freeview, a GIANT kettle with plenty tea and a sizeable ensuite. And despite what they say, very comfortable, soft, silky beds. And quite cheap.


After that, I met with my mystery accomplice to eat a hurried sandwich supper before rushing to the Secret Event, dressed in our Halloween finery and masks for anonymity. While I’m unable to divulge the specifics, I can say that we were treated to a gallery of ghosts, we threw paper at our host, we contacted a dead musician, and our host killed a girl in Satan’s name while we all laughed. I may be lying, but I haven’t lied to you so far. Incidentaly, my accomplice managed to nab a ghost in the lobby before it got away. It seems it was a happy spirit.

Afterwards we retreated to the cosy cabin of a room and watched the 2nd of Derren Brown’s new series, The Experiments. Such a joy to watch something LIVE after 6 weeks of Youtube, iPlayer and DVDs. Not to mention a very impressive, creepy show. After being disturbed by Derren, we flicked over to a new QI and decided we were too drowsy to continue watching. If only Stephen Fry read bedtime stories.


The next day, I absolutely couldn’t face the coach back, so I took the train back home – to REAL home. I spent the day with my lovely family and was treated to home-cooked foods and gifts from abroad including a box of Turkish Delight. And finally, in the morning I was straight back ‘home’ to Cardiff. Wow. 3 countries in as many days. I still don’t believe it happened.




The lessons I’ve learnt:

1) When travelling, stick to safe foods. Never have fish, even if it’s from a shop you know and trust.

2) Travelling on your own is fine. It’s something I know I can do, and can actually quite enjoy if not chucking up. But company makes it so much better. If something happens to go wrong, you not only have someone to help put it right, but someone to raise your spirits and stop you from feeling lonely and drained.

3) When planning ahead, don’t just think about all the practical things like tickets, money, accommodation, etc. Keep in mind the entertainment and social aspects. I forgot that I had a friend in Edinburgh. How dare I. I was lucky I was able to get in contact at such short notice.

4) Always prepare for every eventuality, especially where money is concerned. I didn’t expect to get that ill. And I didn’t expect I’d get that lonely either. So I didn’t expect I would be so adamantly against taking the coach back after prepaying for it, and so didn’t pack my railcard, increasing my ticket from £80 to £120. In the words of my mystery accomplice, “We could have flown to America!”

5) There is a strong link in me between the feeling of loneliness and the experience of an empty stomach.



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