Saturday, December 22, 2007

Homeward Bound

The Christmas rush to get out of London is in full swing, not helped by a number of flights out of Gatwick being cancelled last night due to the fog.

I'd taken care of my plans last week by booking a train ticket, or so I thought. After getting zero joy from the self-serve ticket machine at King's Cross, I was then informed by a harassed, if civil, member of National Express staff that there was no reservation for me. He could sell me a ticket for travel today for the same price which would let me travel on any train, but there'd be no seat.

So it was that I found myself packed in with twenty-seven others (I counted) in the space between carriages B & C of the 15:00 to Glasgow Central. It did calm down after York, but even so, it's not going to rank as one of the more pleasant journeys I've ever made. Still, only half an hour to go now.

Honourable mentions? An apology to the Geordie guy squeezed in next to me who lost some of his beer when I lost my balance at one point after Doncaster. To everyone who had to stand upright like that for over two hours for never once complaining and for staying good-humoured throughout. Also, to National Express, for letting those of us in 2nd class use wi-fi for free (GNER used to charge a tenner).

However, a special shout out must go to the lady at King's Cross, who thought that the way to get those already unable to move within the carriage to grant her an instant and unhindered path to her seat, was to complain loudly that people without reservations shouldn't be on the train in the first place. If they haven't already secured her services, I fear that the worlds of diplomacy and motivational speaking may not be mourning their loss, somehow.

Anyway, that's the holidays started for me, so blogging may be intermittent over the next couple of weeks. In common with Brian Taylor, for those who can, a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. For those who can't for whatever reason, my sympathies.

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