3 May 2012

The Tribulations of Train Travel - Thursday Thoughts

Despite the gale force wind and the pouring rain I had a lovely long weekend in Devon staying with my good friend, and editor, Jo Field (and her two dogs, Lorna and Poppy).
What I needed was a chance to "chill", to sit and listen to the birds, to gaze out the window, and not feel guilty about doing so.
This I got. And it was lovely.

The journey to Devon was fine. No problems. Jo met me at Barnstaple Station - the old house in the picture below was where her grandfather, the Stationmaster, once lived.

I had travelled from London Paddington to Exeter, then changed onto the lovely clankety-clank train from Exeter to Barnstaple. This line has to be one of the best in England - beautiful Devon views - well worth a ride! For good reason it is also known as The Tarka Line after Henry Williamson's Tarka the Otter (set in this beautiful part of Devon)

The Tarka Line

This was Friday - a lovely sunny day.

View towards Dartmoor from Jo's sitting room
Then came a windy Saturday
and then Sunday.....
Sunday - from my bedroom window
What I hadn't bargained on was the return journey home. Sections of God's Wonderful Railway (Great Western Railway) would be under water because of the flooding.

When I got to Exeter on the journey home, I found trains to London Paddington were not running. Exeter to Waterloo was fine, but that is a longer journey and trains are usually packed anyway.

Exeter St David's Station
The very nice staff at Exeter told me to not worry about my booked ticket, just get on the next available train.
Which I did.
With the rest of the world, or so it seemed.

Now I had specifically booked a first class ticket for the journey home (taking advantage of pre-booking a cheap deal) because the seats in first class are more roomy, coffee and such is brought to you, and everything is generally more comfortable.
Well I kissed goodbye to all that!

I did manage to get a seat, which lots of people didn't, but it was cramped and uncomfortable and the journey took four hours. Struggling on with my case was hard, and when things go wrong like this no one seems to notice (or want to notice) some poor tired old biddy struggling with cases and walking cane and about ready to collapse in an exhausted heap.

Then at Waterloo I had to face the underground - I'm not used to Waterloo Station. I discovered the rest of the world and his wife who weren't on the train from Exeter were at Waterloo.
Where do all these people come from?

Waterloo Station
Eventually I found the Bakerloo line on the Underground. Got on the right train. almost missed the station where I had to change, struggled off, struggled to the Victoria Line platform, struggled onto the next train.
Thank goodness my husband met me at the other end....

That was Monday. Today is Thursday.
I still feel utterly exhausted.

What I need is a nice weekend break....






No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for leaving a comment - it should appear immediately, but Blogger sometimes chucks its teddies out of the cot and has a tantrum (especially if you are a Wordpress person) If you are having problems, contact me on author@helenhollick.net and I will post it for you.
However, SPAMMERS will be stamped on, squashed, composted and very possibly cursed - if you spam my blog, next time something nasty happens to you just remember that I DID warn you...

Helen