An interesting day in Biggleswade...

Trip Start May 23, 2008
Trip End Jun 20, 2008

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Well, I've left Liverpool and now I'm in Biggleswade. We had an interesting day today, so I'll write about today's events first and then do Liverpool in another email.

Biggleswade is a small town about 45 minutes northeast of London, not too far from Cambridge. My friend lives here (I'll call her "K") and I came to visit her after Liverpool. Last night she picked me up from the train station and we went for Indian food (more sweet than I've had before, but still good), then we went to her local pub quiz. She's very good at them, and I was excited to experience a pub quiz. The first part was general knowledge; you get a few pieces of paper with questions on them and you write the answers down. After 1 hour, you trade your quiz with another group and grade theirs when the answers are given. There was a geography section, where they give you a map of South America with numbers on it and you have to identify the specified countries/bodies of water/etc. There was also a famous people section, where they give you photos and you identify the person. The other groups of questions were things like name the host of specific game shows (all British so I didn't know), who wrote certain books, or answer questions about films from the Western genre. I was very pleased when I answered the question "What is the minimum age in the U.S. to become president?" correctly. (I used to be smart, once.) The second part of the pub quiz was a music quiz, where they play samples of songs and you have to identify the singer and title, and in some cases, the year. Someone told me recently that they thought I knew a lot about music...not at this quiz. Of about the 30 songs they played, I only knew 1. It was pretty sad. Luckily K and our other teammate knew most of them. As usual, K and her teammate won both parts of the quiz, and thus won 2 bottles of wine - one Chardonnay and one Pinot Grigio. Although I got really tired towards the end and kept yawning (sorry, K!), I really did enjoy myself.

Today we were lazy, getting up late and doing stuff on the computer, and then we decided to go out so that I could see the lovely English countryside. It was lovely, and we were enjoying ourselves until we got to a place called Stafford. We were driving through the city, and encountered some road construction that had finished for the day, which is normal in England. We were just to go over a ramp (I guess it was like a speed bump), and I saw a cute road sign that I wanted to take a photo of (A picture of a duck with "Wild Fowl" written underneath it). I started to take a photo when we heard a BANG and the car stopped immediately. We had hit something in the road and the airbags deployed! We didn't know what was going on for a minute and there was powder and something like feathers flying in the air. We got out all dazed and confused and a bunch of cars drove around us without stopping to see if we were OK. Two nice women who were standing right there came over to us to ask if we were OK, and two guys came over (I think they were at the nearby pub) to offer to move the car out of the way. I'm still not sure what it was that we hit - I guess it was some construction that was sticking out of the road. A bunch of asphalt had been torn out of the road and there were big rocks of it scattered around. There was a fairly large hole in the middle of the road, with some sort of iron piece in the middle of the hole. It looked a bit like a bell on its side. We took a lot of photos and the two women helped us find the phone number to call the people in charge of doing the road construction. The people we called (the "council" - the local government) said they'd send a construction crew out to fix it. When we finally calmed down and got over our shock, we checked to see if the car would still operate (it did), and we took it back to Biggleswade (about 6 or 8 miles) to the mechanic. Unfortunately they said they couldn't fix it, so we took it home. K called her insurance company and they said they would call the council tomorrow and be in touch.

Fortunately K and I didn't seem to have any major injuries. We are worried that we might have whiplash, though, and I may have some hearing damage in my right ear, as it was buzzing because of the BANG. I really hope not. It's the same feeling after I've just gone to a loud concert, so maybe it'll be better tomorrow. Also, since I was twisted and trying to take a photo at the time the airbags went off, I may have hurt my lower back. We'll be going to the doctor tomorrow to get checked out. I forgot to mention that K is a minicab driver (not in a black taxicab - it's a minivan and you have to call ahead and reserve it), so she's basically out of work until the car is fixed. It might even be totalled and she'd have to get a new car! But theoretically insurance/the council should pay for it, as we didn't do anything wrong!

We had planned to go to the bingo hall tonight, so we walked down there to try to join. (Yes, Biggleswade has a bingo hall.) Unfortunately we got there late and they had just started the final half, so they weren't letting anyone in! Oh, and you have to be a's free, but still, you have to join! So we came back here and messed about in the's the music room, so there are drums and guitars and a bass and a keyboard in there! Lots of fun. :)

Anyway, it's getting late, so I should go. I'll have to write about Liverpool tomorrow or maybe when I get to Malta. Did I mention that I'm going to Malta tomorrow afternoon? Well, I am, with my friend Dawn and her husband Tony. Tony is originally from Malta. For those who don't know, Malta is a tiny 17-mile wide island country in the Mediterranean, near Sicily. That should be fun! We'll be back in London on Sunday night around midnight.

Hope all of you are well...better than me, anyway. ;-)
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