Sunday 17 August 2008

Timing is everything

No idea; 11.4 units of alcohol yesterday (mainly in that very fine session in the pub after the Prom); 1,267; from Marylebone to Morpeth.

My partner needed to be back in Chester by lunchtime today, to attend a family birthday celebration, and Network Rail had helpfully decided that the middle of the peak holiday travel period represented an ideal opportunity to close Euston station while they changed a light bulb in a signal, or something of the sort. Luckily there was an alternative route back, but unluckily it required her to catch a train from Marylebone and then make a change in Birmingham by walking between Moor Street and New Street stations. I won’t repeat that she has no sense of direction, in case it becomes tiresome, but she is the sort of person who can be relied upon to get from King’s Cross to St Pancras via Leeds, rather than by walking across the road. So I felt some misgivings as I escorted her to the Great Central Railway’s impressive and under-used London terminus, arriving half an hour too early. Luckily we were able to fill the time having a cup of coffee, watching the station florists assembling a most impressive display and wondering why they evidently thought it was worth opening for business before 8 on a Sunday morning and WH Smith did not. Which is more likely to be in demand on a Sunday morning train journey: a lavish bouquet or a newspaper? I only pose the question.

I myself had a speedy and comfortable journey to Newcastle from King’s Cross, surrounded by quiet middle class types heading for the Edinburgh Festival, at a time when it was too early for any screaming kids to be up and about. I was much relieved when I received a text confirming that the LTCB had made it to New Street and had even managed to board the correct train when she got there.

I called at Morpeth to collect my dog at the precise moment when my aunt began carving her Sunday joint. This came as a genuine surprise to me, as she had told me that she was hosting her traditional Sunday meal for her extended family in the evening. The change of schedule meant that I found myself unexpectedly invited to sit down to a traditional lunch of roast lamb with all the trimmings, followed by a choice of two home-made fruit pies. What could be more agreeable? There was even a bone for the dog afterwards. Will I expose myself as a pathetic old sentimentalist if I say that it only required the company of the LTCB to make it perfect?

1 comment:

Gorilla Bananas said...

What could be more agreeable?

Is that a rhetorical question? I'm partial to swinging in my hammock eating locust-flavoured ice cream.