Thursday, 3 April 2008

Training mishaps

Ahhh, London, London, London.

Tire of it, and you tire of life, according to Doctor Johnson, the git.

Well, the place is ok, especially on a sunny day and when I am only in one of the nicer bits for most of the time. And getting there is much easier now I am travelling from a more distant railway station but one which has a direct line into Waterloo.

And, in theory, getting home would be equally straightforward.

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

My meeting went well* and I had a second meeting over a cup of tea and a really, really crumbly Danish afterwards** which was constructive and enjoyable. The meeting, I mean. But the Danish was good too.

I sauntered back to Waterloo, enjoying the sunshine, the River, the performance artists, the tourists, the London Eye, even the really loud trumpet player. Ahh, it was grand to be alive.

I got to Waterloo, looked at the big Where All The Trains Are board, and saw that the one for Gillingham (i.e: mine) was at the platform, due to leave in 2 minutes, so I scampered onto the correct platform and onto the train, a cheery smile on my face.

I had planned to get a sandwich for my lunch at Marks and Spencer on the station, but thought "No worries, I can grab a snack on the train, and now I will be home much earlier than I had hoped."

So, I sat in comfort, sorting out my iPod, reading my notes from the meeting, waiting happily for the little man with the snack trolley. I was content.

Right up until the guard did the "Welcome to the train, this is where we're going" announcement. My station wasn't on the list.

I assumed I had missed it, and when she walked past a few minutes later I showed her my ticket and said "I didn't hear Tisbury mentioned...what time do we get there?"

She looked at me in some concern and said "We don't. This train doesn't stop at Tisbury, love. It's not scheduled to do that." She even got out her own, dog-eared copy of the timetable to show me that I had managed to catch the only train that doesn't stop at my station all day.


So. I had to get off at Salisbury and wait for half an hour for the next through train, just like the old days.

How I laughed.

On the plus side, Mr WithaY is home safe and sound after a few days at Lancaster University, where he met a lot of conservation experts*** and Gaia theorists**** and was also treated to a couple of performance artists doing a self-penned poetry reading after dinner one night.

I bet he wishes he'd taken a gun.

*I talked incessantly for much of it, everyone went "Bloody hell that sounds complicated" when I stopped.

**Just as well it was after the meeting was over as I looked like a Doctor Who alien from the Seventies once I'd got outside of the Danish..all flaky and shedding mysterious lumps of matter.


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