This morning's instalment comes to you courtesy of South West Trains, without whose help none of this would be possible.
I have had very little sleep. Yes, I went to bed at a reasonable hour. No, I didn't watch scary films or read an alarming book first.
The night went as follows:
2130: Shower, wash hair, blow-dry hair into fabulous Elvis Presley Girlfriend bouffant style. Check bags are all packed ready for the morning.
2200: Into bed, turn off light. Lay there for 20 minutes mentally reviewing contents of bags, also trying to remember details of the many and varied meetings that fill Monday pretty much back to back. Fall asleep.
2330: Visit bathroom. Back into bed, fall asleep.
0215: Woken by violent rainstorm lashing at bedroom windows. Check time on phone whilst mentally cursing self for checking time. Back to sleep.
0345: Woken by howling wind and continued lashing rain. Check time again, thinking "Did I set the alarm clock?" Turn on light to check. Yes, alarm clock is set. Back to sleep.
0457: Woken by the Apocalyptic weather going on outside. Lie there forcing self not to check the time, trying to reassure self that alarm clock will do its job and wake me at the appropriate hour. Try not to think how soon that is. Back to sleep.
0526: Woken by loud vehicle going past on the main road. Get up and look out of window. Pitch black, rain hammering on windows. Cars going by sound as though they are navigating a ford. Back into bed resigned to wait for alarm to go off.
0550: Deep and dreamless sleep, perfectly comfortable, utterly at peace. Heaven.
0556: Alarm goes off.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the journey to the office is taking on epic status.
0645: Arrive at railway station in plenty of time to catch the 0652. Overhear the very nice ticket office man telling the passengers buying tickets that the train is "suffering with it's engine" and will be late. How late? Fucking late. Ticket man gets repeated updates from the train driver and various other railway officials, which he relays to us gloomily.
"It's lost an engine....it's going to be at least 20 minutes late...it won't be travelling beyond Salisbury....they'll cancel the next train because this one's so late...." The litany rolled on.
To be fair, he seemed genuinely sorry for us. A few weeks ago our train was absurdly late, and the ticket man came into the waiting room to apologise face to face.
"I'm really sorry about this, everyone. I know it's not much, but I've got a kettle and four mugs in my office. Would anybody like a cup of tea?"
I was charmed.
Eventually the train crawled into the station, and the grumpy committed scrambled aboard. The passengers already seated had a weary look about them. I think some of them may have been there all night.
0750: The train limped painfully into Salisbury, the guard informing us halfway there that we'd lost two of the three engines and had "no power."
It was like being in an episode of Star Trek where Scotty is desperately coaxing Warp 9 out of the engines, all the while shouting "I'm giving it all she's got, Captain!"
When we got to Salisbury, 36 minutes late, there was a wild stampede to the "nine carriage train that is waiting for you there."
Nine carriages my arse. THREE carriages. All of them already full. I have found a seat, fortunately. Less fortunately, it is under the window. Which is leaking. My left arm is wet. I have improvised a small lean-to using my coat, and hope to make it to my destination without catching pneumonia.
Send pemmican and Kendall mint cake.