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|
and then Sunday.....
|Sunday - from my bedroom window|
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|
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?
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....