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13:33 | 22nd October 2017

Top Feature: Darren Waite

Liverpool and Lumbago

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On Friday I was absent as I was spending five hours on a Megabus from London to Liverpool to go to a conference. Yep that is right here at Pinkwire there are no helicopters or red arrows streaking rainbows across the sky. Just me sitting third row from the front still being able to smell the urine wafting from the back of the bus.

It is in my humble opinion that £1 from London to Liverpool is a rip off. I used to use coaches all the time. After college all of my friends disbanded up and down the country to pursue their various dreams at far flung universities. Now, I am only 28 but I do suffer with a hip that is a bit creaky because of 'over use' according to the doctor and five hours on a bus sitting next to a Scouser eating a pasty, wearing a shell suit is quite frankly too much to bear.



I ran my phone out of battery as I could not stop phoning people letting them know the pain, emotional and physical that I was in. I phoned my girlfriend constantly complaining about the quality of the transport and the cramp that was burning my right buttock 'You have never felt pain like it' I said.
She was the easiest to phone and moan at, she is still at home with a broken leg.

I finally got to Liverpool and went to the LGBT conference. I knew everyone there and quite frankly we could have done it in London but a good time was had by all. By the end of the night we were all drunk offering each other jobs. I accepted about five. I was supposed to fly to Dubai this morning as far as I remember to start as the editor of an oil rag. I got this job offer on the basis that I moaned for two hours about petrol prices, using this as Megabus justification.

I then stayed with one of my best friends in halls at Liverpool Uni, she is there studying to become a social worker as a mature student. 'I hate you' she greeted said as I walked through the prison style door. It was on my advice that she decided to become one.

Never take advice from someone about their former career, there is a reason that I don't do social work now.

I haven't been in halls for years, I looked like a div that had been held back for ten years to resit exams. The testosterone was on quite another level. Sexual chemistry between eighteen-year-olds is really something to behold. Over the weekend we went to Chester Zoo and the gibbons were better behaved.

In true student style I slept on a blow up bed, we spent an hour trying to inflate it before we realised that the stopper at the other end was not in. Now with my hip and five hours on a Megabus this wasn't a good thing but I stuck at it anyway.

I wandered around looking at all of these young faces who are so excited to be going out into the real world and all I could think was 'I wish I was back there'. When I was in halls a boy called Dave that I shared a flat with made gravy in the kettle and dried his underwear in the microwave. Every Weight Watchers meal I ever had tasted slightly of cheese, which confused me as I always thought that cheese had a lot of points. It was only when I left university that I was told 'Yum, Beefy' was not a complement for a good cup of tea.

We did all the usual touristy stuff, which mainly revolves around the Beetles. My friend who still thinks that Justin Timberlake is the height of culture was less than impressed with this but I dragged her around it all anyway.

Needless to say on Saturday night when we were sitting in Cafe Rouge eating bread and olives I decided I could not get the Megabus home. Short of living in Liverpool which I would have happily done, I loved it, I booked a train.
Three hours door-to-door and I was back home.

In front of my computer I have a letter from a well-known lesbian writer, I have met her a few times and on Friday I sat drunk with her in a corner of a pub after the conference.

She wrote to me today and advised me that in order to become the writer that I always wanted I would have to: 'Live the life of a poor writer in the dirt, cut your shackles and write free.' But I just can't live the life of blow-up beds and Megabuses. The only way that I could would be if I had full BUPA health care and you aren't getting that on Jobseekers Allowance anymore.

I did however this morning in a bid to become a true hippy creative buy Sainsburys own instead of Heinz baked beans. The journey of a thousand miles blah, blah, blah.


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