Serving Up... Northampton, England!

I ventured to Huddersfield to see my friend and ex-colleague Paolo in February 2013, but Tom didn't make the ride! We had all made a pledge to reunite as the Las Vegas Three! Huddersfield was something else so I wanted something special from Northampton. Yes, BB got her Newark boys back for one weekend! Northampton, you didn't make me any Kinky Boots! N, the shade!

Northampton? I was greeted by Northampton's god awful bus station, I am sure that place is referenced as the 'Gateway to Hell'? Yes, it was something else but the city is building a new station. Anyway, I and Thomas were reunited after I got lost trying to find the exit of the bus station. Northampton build a new one please! Getting lost seems to be a recurring thing for me because I got lost whilst in Huddersfield just over a month ago! I could not help myself, I simply had to take another trip to somewhere! My mantra for the time being is to seek adventure closer to home. Northampton fitted the bill for that bill because the train linked Birmingham in less than one hour. Tom was missing from the shenanigans in Huddersfield, so I wanted to spend some time in Tom's hometown as he went on about it being so amazing when we worked at Newark Airport in 2012! Was it as amazing as Tom made it out to be? Each to their own!

Traveling makes me hungry, so it was time to eat! Where would Tom be taking me to for tea? Tom took me to 'Buddies' for some quintessentially American food, this place made it feel just like old times! 'Buddies' revealed itself to be a very interesting eatery, which harboured countless relics and memorabilia from the fabulous New York City! Our conversation turned into one great catch-up, we had shared some great times in America during our placements at Newark Liberty International Airport. It was great to see you again, Tom! Our food tasted so good! I had the 'Cuba' hamburger followed by a 'Dr. Pepper' ice cream float. Life gets in the way of things, so getting back to happier times brought the bacon for sure! I was still getting used to the motions of university post placement, it was an adjustment. Picking up things, conversations are better without awkward gaps! Broseph was back! Tom, you can't say that I didn't keep that Northampton promise! I made it!

Saturday turned into Sunday, we were still missing one more person until we could allow the proceedings to go forth. Paolo drove down from Huddersfield early so we could make the most of our time together in Northampton. The 'Las Vegas Three' had been reunited! We might not be living our American dream anymore but it was starting to feel like old times! The boys were back in town! Britney and her boys took to the road for our day together would be eventful to say the least! We ate at 'Red Hot' which provided us with the usual buffet choices. I had to get a snap taken of us altogether, that's where the photo above was taken! Next on our agenda was a quick visit to Tom's mom's house, we collected the Northampton edition of 'Monopoly'. To own a game as specific as that, Tom really must love his town! Games aside we made our way to 'Ten Pin' to bowl like we did back in Jersey! I still remember Linden Lanes, Brit!

To end our first day back together as a three we decided to have a few pints at Tom's local pub. Paolo and Tom played darts while I enjoyed my cider, something told me I'm not and will never be the type to play darts! Monopoly took force and I bowed out of this game early because I have never really had the knack for board games, nevertheless it was funny! From buffets to bowling and finally board games it was a day to remember! Our time together was short but I for one had a great time, you know you've got good friends when it's feels like any time hasn't passed. Northampton brought back something nice, it served some strange sights but its not a major tourist hotspot so I appreciated its normal exterior. In a strange way I was a very looked after tourist with the background information Tom bestowed to me and I didn't have to pay for any hotel! No Brazilian food for us three in the heart of Newark's Ironbound District, it was Northampton or bust! LV sure felt like a long way away!

Northampton happens to be a nice town, I wouldn't of ventured to this town if it wasn't for Tom living here and him sharing his passion for his hometown. Tom took me on a guided tour around Northampton town centre both on Saturday and also on Monday along with Paolo in tow. I treated this experience like a little history lesson. I was schooled about the messed up history of All Saints Church, I'll say a prayer because what happened was crazy! I was acquainted with '78 Derngate House' a listed building crafted by Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, this house is quite impressive from the outside. Monday brought our chance to sample the formidable 'Oliver Adams' bakery, a place which is something of a talking point in Northampton. Somebody does love his hometown a lot! If the truth be told I learnt a lot about a town that I previously knew nothing. A stark change comparing Las Vegas Boulevard?

One part of Northampton that I didn't see were the shoe factories like the one featured in the film 'Kinky Boots'. I don't feel like I missed out not seeing a shoe factory because I saw places that looked just like from the film! I lied about the shoes, to make up for not seeing any shoe factories or museums we went to the gates of the first Carlsberg Brewery outside of Denmark, another ode of Northampton trivia for us to add to our belts! From the pastries of Oliver Adams to that random ice cream factory shop I thank you for showing me your town with such enthusiasm and pride! It was sure different compared to our crazy weekend in Las Vegas, USA but the time spent in Northampton with Tom and Paolo was great, I even changed my travel plans to stay for the rest of Monday! We didn't have any flight delays or grand gambling plans but Buddies gave me and Tom the chance to catch-up after nine months and what can I say about Paolo?! Northampton, it was emotional for certain, T!

Boys, Let's Not Be Strangers!

Joseph Harrison


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