One little bit of fun I experienced lately was one Friday evening, just trying to make my way home.
In my wisdom, I’ve been trying out new ways of Going Home and Coming Back. My new strategy was to travel late at night, often on the last train, partly because it’s cheaper, and definitely because it’s quieter.
So that was the plan, one Friday evening.
I eventually arrived home at 3:30am, some nine hours after leaving.
It was quite possibly the worst experience I’ve ever had on public transport. Everything that could go wrong did. I left my house on time, and arrived into Basingstoke. Where I waited, and waited. Eventually, the connection arrived that got me to Reading.
And that was that. The train went as slow as possible up the country, getting stuck at various bits, and then they gave up and terminated it at Banbury. The reason was that someone had jumped in front of a train. All very tragic, and all completely beyond their control.
So there wasn’t much I could do but ride it out. Some coaches turned up, but a woeful number. Hundreds of us were milling around, in the deadness of anEnglish town that we all only know due to a nursery rhyme. More trains kept arriving and being terminated. The anger swelled.
Some time later, after telling us that no more coaches were coming, they got the line open again. So we all squeezed onto a Silverlink train and got to Birmingham Moor Street at 11:30pm. I should have been home by this point. Instead, I trudged across the city to Birmingham New Street, where I knew I would either be put in a hotel or a coach.
In the event, none of it happened. They somehow managed to get a merry band of 20 or so of us onto a specially laid on train which took us to Manchester. Arriving at about 1:45am, we were all pretty knackered, but still – I was in the wrong place.
Eventually, they organised taxis for us. Which wouldn’t take me all the way. So I had to pay out my own pocket for another taxi, and they “assured” me that I would be reimbursed if I claimed it.
I’m still waiting. That’s £20 I’m out of pocket. I sent all the forms off like a good Citizen should. But they’re ignoring it. Or it’s got “lost in the post”. Which would piss me off royally. I did take scans, because I had a feeling this would happen, but it’s such an inconvenience.
Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed, but I wasn’t as pissed off as I thought I would be. The whole time I had a “ho hum” mentality. It was no one’s fault. I couldn’t do anything about it by getting angry. I just had to lap it up. It’s the price I pay for not being able to drive.
But still, I was most pleased when I finally got home, and got to sleep.
Unfortunately, I didn’t account for the fact that I would be disturbed at 7am the next morning.
My family’s dog has lately decided that it doesn’t do weekends. It starts crying, pleading, for its Mamma to get up now bright and early at 7am, or before. That’s because it’s what it’s used to during the week. It never used to do this. Now it does. And my bedroom is right above it.
Hell. No one else could hear it. Either that or they’ve got used to it. So I had to suffer. Until I gave up. At 7:30am.
I was not impressed.