Train Trials (reprise)

20140330-003131.jpgRefuge in Malmaison, 1am

1. Not one of the reservation ticket bits on the Day Trip to Oxford proved valid at any stage on any train;
2. At Birmingham, the train stood silent for 45 minutes awaiting a new train crew and enabling hundreds of inebriated Brummies to clamber aboard and raucously chorus crappy songs all the way to Stoke;
3. Delay at Birmingham ensured we would miss the last Transpennine express from Manchester to Leeds;
4. Pathetic Wifi facilities on board the Cross Country train meant it was impossible to pre-book a (relatively cheaper) cab from Manchester to complete the journey post-midnight;
5. Himself had gallantly offered to collect us from Leeds at the expected arrival time of 00.20. On hearing that no cab-rank taxi would take us over the Pennines for less than £120, he heroically offered to drive over to pick us up from Manchester;
6. The M62 was closed for a section. Battling off-piste, Himself was caught by a speed camera ensuring that petrol plus speeding fine of £100 made the taxi offers in hindsight a real bargain;
7. In the early hours of Sunday morning, Piccadilly station was full of drunks and police and curiously lacking anywhere to sit down. Refuge was sought in the local Malmaison Hotel where the coffee machines had broken down and at least two hen parties were in noisy progress;
8. The Malmaison Hotel in Piccadilly is in a satnav Bermuda triangle. We had to run the gauntlet of police and drunks back through Piccadilly station at 2am to a meeting point discoverable by Heroic Rescuer;
9. The introduction of BST ensured one hour less sleep on an already severely truncated night’s sleep;
10. Everyone too exhausted to make me a morning cup of tea on Mother’s Day.

Next time….


2 responses to Train Trials (reprise)

  1. But how was Oxford? (!) I’m guessing the concept of ‘worth the journey’ is a tricky one to calibrate in this instance. ….

  2. Gillian – Author

    Oxford was bloody marvellous. I wish I’d discovered literary festivals years ago! We packed in three talks in a matter of hours including Ac grayling and Orhan Pamuk and spent the time inbetween debating and reflecting and stuff. Wonderful.

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