Woke up early on Saturday with the prospect of a day long Birkbeck session ahead of me. Good. Looking forward to it. But our house was in chaos as my brother, his wife and two young daughters are staying, along with our own daughter and boyfriend. Grabbed breakfast and left in a rush to catch the train.
Was later leaving the house than I should have been, so almost ran to the station. Luckily, it was downhill all the way. It was raining.
Problem two: realised I had left my umbrella at home.
Arrived at the station and was surprised to see lots of people milling about. Then I saw the A board with the announcement of a signal failure.
Problem three: no train!
Ran all the way home. Yes, uphill and in the rain. Got into car. Waved at my bemused husband who had just got up and had run to the window to see who was stealing my car. Then I set off for Peterborough in the hope that the East Coast line would be unaffected by the signal failure. Despite the appalling weather, I made good time down the A1 and along the A47. Came off the A47 to head into Peterborough.
Problem four: two cars had collided at the Thomas Cook junction roundabout and dazed people were wandering about and the road was blocked.
Stopped long enough to make sure everybody was out of their cars and walking around (i.e. not in need of immediate medical help) and took off along a back road, bypassing the blockage. Arrived at the station.
Problem five: station car park had red sign showing “full”.
Well, the car park obviously wasn’t full. What was going on? I saw a white van blocking one of the inward barriers. I didn’t have time to stop and find out what was happening. I drove past the station forecourt heading for the nearest public car park.
Problem six: met a car coming straight at me – the wrong way down a one-way street.
I avoided a head-on crash by swinging into the kerb. Didn’t stop for a road-rage moment but continued to the nearest car park and parked safely. Ran from car park to station. Weirdly, the pavement outside the station was blocked by about 50 people doing nothing in particular – possibly waiting for a bus.
Problem seven: people didn’t seem to realise they were in my way! I had to push my way through to buy a ticket.
Problem eight: there is a major reconstruction project going on at Peterborough station and you can’t get onto the platforms from the ticket office.
Problem nine: I had to push my way back through same crowd of milling idiots to get through the side gate and onto the platform.
Problem ten: arrived on platform in time to see my train pulling out.
Then (wonderful relief) I realised the train pulling out was not my train. My train was running a few minutes late and hadn’t arrived yet. Whew!
This was before nine o’clock in the morning but the train buffet had already sold out of beer! Rail travellers are a hard-drinking bunch.
And how was the rest of my day? Brilliant! I enjoyed a really good session at Birkbeck, learning about Script Writing from a tutor who was excellent and had brought along lots of audiovisual aids. (Mind you, there was some confusion over which room we were supposed to be in, but that is another story.)