We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?

Around the World in 80 Days

Day 79: 12 December

Michael Palin - Around the World in 80 DaysHave to keep reminding myself that it's not over yet, and will not be until I'm inside the Reform Club again. A Leda Maersk truck gives me a lift through the tidy, well-kept streets of Felixstowe, to the railway station. There is no train for an hour, so we repair to the Moat House Hotel across the road. Ironically the hotel bar has a colonial feel. The only other customers apart from ourselves are elderly ladies ordering scotch and sodas. I fantasise that they are widows of men who travelled, maintaining the tradition of the quick snifter before tiffin. A young barmaid with strident lipstick plays listlessly with a beermat. Though I've been hurtling round the world, against the clock, my progress has been marked by moments like these, still pools at the side of the stream, where for a while, nothing at all moves.

At half-past twelve, well into my last twenty-four hours, I pick up the local two-car diesel and we rumble off towards Ipswich. England looks greener than anywhere else in the world. And much neater than I remember. On the Inter-City train from Ipswich to London I decide to treat myself to a Great British Lunch and receive instead a Great British Apology.

'I'm very sorry, sir, there's no chef and no food, but I can offer you afternoon tea.' So I have afternoon tea at five past one, and very good it is too.

Liverpool Street station is a building site and has been for two years, but we're in on time.
Choose another day from Around the World in 80 Days


  • Series: Around the World in 80 Days
  • Day: 79
  • Date: 12 December
  • Country/sea: England
  • Place: Felixstowe
  • Book page no: 252

Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register and/or log in.