Stuck on a Train
What a day to go south. Only the worst storms since whenever blew over the north.
Scotland was closed. No trains from Glasgow or Edinburgh through Oxenholme.
A diversion to Manchester, we were told, would resolve the problem. Well it did, sort of. The train chugged slowly down by surf paradise sized waves blowing in on the Lancashire coast.
After two hours we just managed to jump on the 13.35 Manchester to London.
Except it wasn’t the 13.35. After standing in the station for two hours Virgin changed it to the 15.35.
Clever. When we arrived at Euston at 19.35 it was a mere 2 hours late rather than 4. Penalties for cancelling a train must be less than for a late arrival.
So we lost an afternoon shopping but there were positives. I mean look at the value for money. Think of the hours I was sat in my seat. Certainly a better £ to contact time than the usual Pendolino from Cumbria.
And friends. My Facebook list has swelled. The entertainment value couldn’t have been better if Richard himself had waltzed down the train in drag.
1st class was downgraded to cattle, your popularity was trashed if you tried to move down the train.
Thankfully I had a seat. We squished in besides people who were ‘best friends’ by journey’s end.
They had been on the move from Harrogate since 7.30am. Everything slots into perspective.
We were staying the weekend but others were only on day trips and frantic hotel booking eschewed, Where do you go to give out your credit card details on a crowded train? Crowd surf to the smallest room.
And how attached to our devices we have become. Had I been a true entrepreneur my fortune would have been made hiring out not only my iPhone charger, but the treasured power socket I had fortuitously sat besides.
This device addiction was though, the only sources of information. Hourly announcements merely said, you have been here for 1 hour, 2 hours…. Twitter on the other hand told us there was a tree on fire, where, when and an ETA.
Packing my bag in the morning I had thought may be food for a day on the hills was a little over the top, but with the buffet car closed my copious lunch box spread like loaves and fishes. The wine and G&T was genuine. I could not have managed that transformation. Virgin threw in a case of water as their contribution to the picnic. A dribble per passenger.
Eventually the blazing tree was extinguished, another was removed from the line and we chugged into London at 7.45pm!
The rest of the weekend went as planned, substituting stairways and escalators for hills, shopping bags for back packs and restaurants for picnics.
All fading into insignificance with the passing of Nelson Mandela.
Paying respects to a great man