It’s not many people who would treat a trip to Milton Keynes as similar to another holiday.
But I’ve missed planning new trips as my flying ability remains in doubt and while there are no Avios points or free hotel nights with this one the modest planning and anticipation has been a welcome distraction from drug change, possible trip cancellation and some residual pain.
My two driving forces over the last year have been “I can do stuff despite this illness” and “there might be a more effective treatment before this disease gets me”. And they remain the same. Having stuff to look forward to, even if it’s Milton Keynes, has been extraordinarily important.
There are footballing reasons to look forward to today. Oldham have been quite good at kicking the ball into the big netty thing at the end of the pitch in recent weeks. An art rarely mastered in recent years. That said, the eight occasions they’ve rocked up at Stadium MK have seen no wins. And included defeats like 5-0, 6-2 and 7-0.
So booking our first class train tickets during the week gave me a genuine buzz. Discovering it’s family fun day at MK and admission to the game is only £12 and Chris might be able to shave and convince them he’s worthy of £1 junior admission a bonus after paying a small fortune to get into Bradford City midweek.
It is still pretty much a normal Saturday. Wetherspoons breakfast. Hope they’ve sorted out their refillable coffee nonsense. Head to Boundary Park to get even cheaper tickets for a game at Carlisle in two weeks. Then wander into Manchester to get a relatively late train to Milton Keynes and onto Bletchley.
Footbal match. Grab food afterwards and then home time. No Toby Carvery today. No airport lounge. But the thought has just crossed my mind that the Virgin Rail Lounge at Manchester Piccadilly might open weekends.
It might not be as exotic as Easter Island, the Atacama Desert or as beautiful as The Bay of Kotor. It might not be as stunning as Grand Canyon or Death Valley. There won’t be help yourself Bollinger
But, despite Storm Brian, I’m looking forward to the day.