I was dreading having to go to Peterborough today to visit the self-storage facility just outside the city centre. I’d been to Peterborough a couple of times before, but never on my own and not recently, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The city does have somewhat of a bad reputation and after the bad experience I had in Boston 2 weeks ago, I was expecting more of the same, possibly even worse.
I was pleasantly surprised by the city though as I didn’t have any bad experiences, nor do I catch anyone so much as staring at me the wrong way. The guy at the storage facility was very friendly and despite my nervousness, everything went according to plan and I can move my belongings into the unit on May 31st, which is when I’ve reserved a rental van. As I had almost 3 hours to kill before my train back to Grantham, I decided to wander around the city centre, after cycling along the River Nene.
As I was hitting the city centre around just after noon, I was worried that I might run into kids and teenagers on lunch break, but I didn’t see any at all, which was a massive relief. The city centre was busy and bustling though. I took a few photos of the main streets and the beautiful 900 year old cathedral that would not have looked out of place in a city like Paris I was going to find somewhere to sit down and eat, but I decided to buy a vegan wrap from M&S instead, which I ate in a secluded spot near the train station before catching my train back to Grantham.
The most stressful part of the day was arriving back in Grantham around 3 pm and having to make a mad dash on my bike to get home before the schools started pouring out, but I just made it after cycling so fast at times that I was overtaking cars. The traffic was really awful in Grantham because of the wretched ‘school run’. Peterborough didn’t fuck with me though and I guess when you’re a freak like me, that’s how you have to judge a place and its people. It’s a very multicultural city, perhaps even more so than Nottingham. It wasn’t as good for cycling as Nottingham is though, but Nottingham is probably one of the best cities in the UK for cycling,.
K (my ex–girlfriend) has agreed to take care of my fish and my houseplants, so I’m hiring a car next week and driving them to Runcorn. It means hat whatever happens, my fish will have a home. I do still have the option of living there, if I can’t find a way to stay in the Netherlands permanently or if it simply doesn’t work out. There is also the possibility of returning to Rochester, if a place becomes available in supportive housing.