Took the day off yesterday to go to London to meet my friend Age for lunch.
The trains were late and slow and chaotic because of some flooding and landslide situation, and I had to hook up with some women named Nicky and Carol, who were heading to Wimbledon and very excited about it, to explain how even though my ticket said get on at Preston at 9:17 and change at Crewe, because the 9:17 was late and I would miss the connection at Crewe, instead I should get on the 9:58, which was actually arriving at 10:12 and go straight to Euston, but not the 8:58 which was late and actually leaving at 10:07, because the 8:58 (or 10:07) was a more expensive fare than the 9:17, I couldn’t get on it, and reservations wouldn’t count anyway because of the chaos, so just sit wherever I wanted. The 8:58 and the 9:58, now 10:07 and 10:12, and the 9:17, now 10:02, were all on the same platform and all going to Euston, but the platform guy say “I’d get the 9:58 if I were you, but only if the 8:58 doesn’t look too crowded, in which case I’d get the 9:58 at 10:12.”
So Nicky and Carol and I crowded onto the 8:58 (or 10:07) and I lost them and I found a seat and got to Euston at 12:40, 40 minutes later than the 9:17 /10:30 from Crewe was supposed to arrive.
I really, really really needed the good lunch we had and the amazing find of this Roast Conch chocolatier and cafe.
Going home, I was Wise to the Ways of the Train, and understood immediately than when the 19:15 to Preston was cancelled Due to Shortage of Rolling Stock (seriously, what creates a sudden shortage of a huge large hunk of steel?), I should cram onto the 18:30 to Glasgow. Unfortunately, many other people had the same vision, and there was a veritable stampede for Platform 16, where the non first-class carriages became miraculously “unreserved,” something that seemed to be picked up by some bluetooth signal in the DNA of the locals. Poor Miss Wright and the other beleaguered teacher of the class from St. Louis School in Lancaster on a field trip, though, had methodically herded the class to the carriage that was supposed to have their reserved seats, but which we’d all swarmed into before the class trotted on. Children get loud and whingey when they discover they’re supposed to stand for more than two hours even when they’re wearing school uniforms, it turns out.