Monday, 23 June 2008

10.30 express to edinburgh

On Saturday morning we left the manor to head to Scotland. We were booked on a 10.30 train from Kings Cross Station and with trains leaving the village every 10 minutes (or so we thought) we were set. We left a little bit late (due to Jack and I having to sit on the bags while S zipped them up). I went ahead to get the tickets with S wheeling the bags behind us. The ticket man warned me to get a wriggle on as there was a train coming in 2 minutes, which actually means leaving in 2 minutes. So I ran. Now I could have gone up the steps and along the overpass and down the steps to the furthest platform but I didn't think I'd make it. I went the alternative route with no stairs; pelted down the hill (pushing Jack) and through a tunnel and back up the hill and just as I got to the car park (still running but obviously not fast enough) the train pulled in and then, an indecently short time later left the station and there wasn't another one due for half an hour. S asked me why my face was so red and I was puffing.
Apparently there was a spot of track work being done. S consulted with a minicab driver who said he couldn't guarantee getting us to Kings Cross in forty five minutes (that's twenty miles away) and the ticket guy said we should get the express and we'd be fine. Laughing.
The next train (not ours) got cancelled. So when our train did come all those people hopped on our 'express' train and then an announcement was made saying that our train was now an all stops. Needless to say we didn't make the 10.30 train. No worries there was one at 11.00. We'd just swap the tickets and off we'd go.
Then we saw the queue, a queue to make a grown man weep (though S didn't). The Brits seem to love to queue but their queues never seem to move very quickly. They are very polite and people that try to push in are given a sharp talking too, but you seem to have to stand in them for an excruciating amount of time. Which is what S did and so we missed the 11.00 train too. We go tickets for the 12.30 train but I noticed on the sign there was something about 'trackwork' and buses and such. So we got on the train for an hour then we got off and queued some more in the rain. Because we had a pram we had to wheel across the tracks with some other people. The other non-pram people grumbled as we rejoined the queue and some were quite rude (probably from Glasgow) but really when we got to the next station we were all hopping on the same train anyway. We had our little bus adventure then stood in the rain on the platform at somewhere on Trent. I think we are becoming acclimatised because we didn't even notice. We did notice Jack making an escape attempt (successful) out of his pram and also the steam engine on the next track.
We hopped back onto the train and all went well except for me wedging the wheels of the pram in the aisle on the way to our seats. We managed to score seats with a table which was handy for putting the DVD player on, for Jack to stand on and for changing Jack (which is icky I know but we did use a mat). The scenery was very nice. Lots of sheep, a few hairy cows and some pretty bleak seaside holiday destinations. We arrived at 6.20pm. Only for hours after we were supposed too. We're very impressed with British rail (and the million other little rail companies that pootle around this funny little island).
But when I was getting cranky and thinking what a tough day we'd had I thought about Jeans and Bella who had just spent twenty hours on a bus from Ecuador watching Mr Bean and the hot chick and I think we got off lightly.

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