Saturday, 20 March 2010

Ye olde slogge home.

I reluctantly emerged from my bed at about 8.04, and was dressed by 9. I breakfasted, finalised rucksack packing, and then made my way to Spar at 9.50. In Spar, with my suitcase, umbrella and rucksack, I searched out lunch items. In order to get to the queuing aisle, with the crisps and biscuits, I had to make my way through a queue of builders at the deli counter. I loudly said 'excuse me' but they didn't move out of the way, and my suitcase got caught on one's builder shoes; I said "yeah, just standing there isn't good!" and huffed off, since I was concerned I'd be late for my bus.

The train from Lancs to Leeds was unpleasant. It was chucking it down at the station and very cold; the train was 3 minutes late (which extended to 10 minutes late arriving in Leeds) and there were only 2 carriages. I went in the first, and had a nice chat with some girls that live in the building behind me, when at a station two stops later was full of loud shouting, jeers and all sorts. A pack of men got on, and with bottles of beer. Wonderful. Two of them also had diorrhea. How do I know this? Because they used the toilet, near which I was sitting. It was an ancient train - the carriages were separated by a (bangy) door on hinges, and you have to wait a while for the toilet door to slide shut. 
The train got fuller, and fuller, and people moved away from the carriage with the gradually drunker-getting men - they can't have been more than 24, and the youngest no less than 19, I'm sure. It was quite unnerving, particularly as the conductor couldn't very well ask them to get off, since they weren't doing much more than making a smell and a rucous - it's arguable that whilst they were /supposed/ to be kicked off for the bottles, that suggestion in itself could have turned them ugly.

I arrived at Leeds with relief, and saw my train on the platform next to that I got off. Unfortunately, despite it being freezing, we weren't allowed on it yet, because the previous train was broken down, and so they had to degrade two 1st class carriages and sort out seat reservations in order to take previous trains' passengers, and that of this one.
I got on, though, in a carriage with no reservations (hint: look through the windows for seats with paper on) and was sat at table seat with two other people, who, though nice, slouched and took up all the leg room. Typical. It was ok though.

I texted home to say that I'd be a little bit late, and I got a call, later, saying that a man had come to quote cutting down my tree (we call it my tree, but it's been there since 1982, and is apparently "leaning too much" and "too tall".... gits) and that Granddad would be at least 15 minutes late. I actually felt like crying - not because I'd be left waiting after such a long, tiring journey, but that they'd actually got around to cutting down my favourite tree. It's a gorgeous northern silver birch, and in the summer it sounds beautiful - the wind makes it sound like the palm trees on a beach, or the tide of the ocean. And it's just beautiful to look at.

Just as the train was pulling out of Grantham, the penultimate stop for me, I got another call from home: Granddad was diverted off the A14 and onto a minor A road, which couldn't take the traffic and was therefore stationary. Fantastic.
I got to the train station 20 minutes late, and was sat in a (comfortable) arm chair in Pumpkin Pastries in the station for an hour. I played pokemon, people watched, and slept on and off for about 50 minutes. He came, though, and I got home eventually - 2 hours late!

I reckon it was punishment for murdering my tree - but then, karma shouldn't affect innocent bystanders, should it?

I truly hate the journey via Leeds - it's slightly longer, and the first half is so very uncomfortable, regardless of how many stops it has. I'd much rather change at Birmingham, as I used to,but it doesn't seem to be possible anymore. I'd even rather go through London, which I will do in the future.

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