Had to go to Birmingham yesterday for a meeting. I decided to let the train take the strain - even though it meant getting up BEFORE 7.00!!! For some strange reason I got it into my head that my train was leaving at 7.47. I knew this wasn't quite right but I think the earliness of the hour and the pleasing symmetry of the time stopped me from checking whether it was right.
Being EARLY in the morning I couldn't seem to decide what to wear. In the end I sprinted out of the house and drove as fast as was legal to the station - in time to miss my train by 3 minutes! I would have caught the 7.47 but my train was 7.41.
I then had the prospect of over an hour sitting in the station waiting for the next train - extra time to think of a reasonable excuse for being late to my meeting. Sitting for so long in a station waiting room is a very strange thing to do. There was a story in the local paper about a person who lived in the station waiting room and as time dragged on I realised the people coming in and out were looking at me like I might be that person (not such a good clothes choice then!)
Eventually my train came along. I really needed to go to the toilet before boarding but somehow despite having an hour to kill I didn't seem to get round to going until I didn't have time. The buffet trolley came along and I told myself - no - coffee was not a good idea in view of bladder issue and also fact that I usually fail to deal with boiling hot coffee on a bumpy train. So why did I find myself saying - yes - coffee would be lovely. Only after Mickey the "Train Host" had left me with my boiling brown liquid did I realise my seat tray was at an angle that was designed to deliver liquid onto lap rather than to rest it on. I then spent the next half hour holding this boiling brew whilst trying to anticipate the next bump, so spillage was kept to a minimum.
After 2 hours of listening to the delightful beat of at least 5 ipods and the remarkable message alert of the person sat next to me - remarkable for the volume, length and general annoyingness (new word) - we rolled into Birmingham station. Frankly I am no athelete but I could have run some sections of that journey faster than the train moved. I put my running skills to the test in the mad dash from the station, but I got to my meeeting just in time - to look forward to the prospect of the return journey...