Posts tagged “train travel

This is Not a Diary….

… but sometimes it feels like one. I think I am having a sort of diary-ish sort of time, and that is ok. Here  I sit, accompanied by the drilling of  the TV presenter’s new basement being built and the humming of my computer speaker, still wondering about doing a blog everyday for 2011. It has been an extraordinary process. Some days I have absolutely no idea what I am going to write, and if I think of the amount of hours I have spent over the last 11 months,  correcting my dreadful spelling, well it is staggering and amazing. So some pictures and musings from yesterday, which was another action packed day in then life of. I went to Edgware in the morning and got back on an empty train, again. It did not stay that way  for long, and by about Colindale it was half full. A man felt the need to make me take my shopping off the seat next to me so he could sit right up close, although there were loads of empty areas in the carriage, and then promptly put all his luggage on the empty seat next to him and  got his smelly fish paste sandwiches out, at which point I took a little stroll down the carriage with my big rucksack and shopping bags. There are some strange people about…..

I went home, cooked a large lamb stew, which should have lasted for a couple of days, but somehow got completely polished off by the end of the evening. I took a train to Bletchley to look at the MK Dons football stadium, in the dark, which was fun. This is where the  Milton Keynes Half-Time Choir (still time to join!) will be  singing so I  had a little yodel in the empty stadium, and saw where our allotted seats were…. I then went to  The Community Centre in Wolverton, which is part of Milton Keynes, but  an older part of town where they used to build trains, to have a practice with some of the lovely people who are going to sing in the stadium. We had a practice last week and this week, to break the ice of the piece which is a 4 part acapella medley of  ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone, and All You Need is Love” …it is going to be great, and I have done practice downloads so people can still join the project and listen to the downloads from the The Stables website. The songs sound a lot better with a massed choir than just me singing them as a practice piece. They sounded amazing last night, I can’t wait to hear them all together on the 10th December. I got a late train back the Euston and saw this train in the station and thought how much fun it would be to go on the sleeper and end up in Scotland in the morning.

A funny moment on the tube on the way home. I had tried to phone Mr P. on my way home and got no reply on either the home line or the mobile, and I started to worry and  my vivid imagination concocted a scenario of me finding  him dead at the  bottom of a ladder or something as mundane ( vivid imagination can be useful but deeply tragic sometimes). I started to descend a downward slope, thinking about how I am having to get used to being an old lady, as my face has moved south so quickly over the last little while that I hardly recognise myself, and now would also be partnerless.  I sat there surrounded by a full tube of people almost in tears, when a young black man at the other end of the carriage started shouting at me. He was wearing his jaunty pork pie hat and  I recognised him, as he spends most of his life smiling outside the local shop with a guitar in one hand and possibly a can of beer in his other. He suddenly shouted down the carriage at me ‘hey you in the hat!…do you like Bob Marley?’ I nodded and at that moment  got off the tube (it was my stop) I walked along the carriage toward where he was standing  at his open door and he said to me something along the lines of that phrase…’if I was a few years younger..you would be the girl for me, but I am on the rebound at the moment’ and the doors shut… it made me howl with laughter as he must be 15 years younger than me and I am feeling 15 years older than I am… I know he is a bit mad..nice mad, possibly a bit blinded by my funky hat. It was just a really funny little thing to happen when I was sitting on the tube, in my mind gearing myself up to  being a widow and behaving with  the appropriate grace I feel I should have when I lose Mr P. …talk about changing the mood…….

I got out of the tube, rang home again and Mr P. had reappeared as if by magic. Ha ha . He’d been to the local pub to meet his new ‘Green’ Friends and forgot his mobile…..

SONG OF THE DAY I Shot the Sheriff -Bob Marley

Live at the Rainbow -major regret in my life is that I never got to this venue that I have walked past thousands of time…since its closure. And major regret that I never saw Bob Marley live…what a magnificent man and what a band! A little quote from Wiki ” Marley faced questions about his own racial identity throughout his life. Although Marley recognised his mixed ancestry, throughout his life and because of his beliefs, he self-identified as a black African He once reflected:

I don’t have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black. Them call me half-caste or whatever. Me don’t dip on nobody’s side. Me don’t dip on the black man’s side nor the white man’s side. Me dip on God’s side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white’

His fathers roots where from Essex which makes me very happy to think that I could also be blood related to Bob. Long shot I know but …would that not be so cool? So Cool…yes

I Don’t Fly – I Love The Man in Seat 61.

It is true. I have not been in an aeroplane in 24 years and Mr P. has never flown (except in his dreams).  In 1978 I paid nearly £400 to fly to India ( I saved up for months as I was being paid about  £1 an hour working in the local supermarket). When I was a student it was  cheaper to get to Greece from the UK by train and boat than it was to fly. I went to Greece in one of my summer holidays, ( 1979)  on an overnight train to Venice, then an overnight boat from Venice to Athens. It was an amazing journey. When I got to Athens, I boat hopped round the islands.

Flying got a bit cheaper in the 80’s, but was still a big deal when I decided that flying was just not for me, in 1987. Then  since the beginning of the 21st century so many people  sort of think is was their god given right to get on a plane and pay tuppence for the privilege and would not even give a slower journey to the same destination house room.

Suddenly, jetting off to Tangiers for the weekend, or Sweden, or even New York is viable to the ‘common man,’ thanks to Easy Jet and  Ryan Air . Then everyone started getting really sniffy about the  taxes and fares going up…really sniffy…and I missed it all , as I hailed the Eurostar, the ferry, the train, the cab and horse and cart!

Sooooooo   I am a huge fan of the best website in the world…..      (well my ultimate favourite travel website)…drum roll and fanfare puleez. The website is called

seat61

‘Maybe you don’t like flying, or are concerned about air travel’s contribution to  global warming .  Or perhaps you just prefer real  travel by train or ship, where the journey is part of the adventure…  Either way, The Man in Seat Sixty-One will tell you how to travel overland comfortably & affordably where you might think that air was now the only option.’

And it does! Check it out. It is glorious, with pictures, routes, fares, comments from travellers –  all sorts. Go on…give it a look . You maybe tempted to make the journey part of your  next trip.

SONG OF THE DAY 

Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman, written by Jimmy Webb

I was much too cool to like this when I was younger. I saw Jimmy Webb a few years ago live in a small theatre in London. He was an amazing raconteur and performer. He has also written a brilliant book on songwriting –Tunesmith -Inside the Art of Songwriting


METAL SEATS IN WAITING ROOMS

Good Morning. Day 3 of my post a blog a day..phew.just to let you know I shall be doing a SONG A DAY…possibly something I heard during the day that stuck in my head for some reason or made me smile!

Getting the train home…..

So three pet hates have reared their ugly heads before me this morning and it is not even 10.30am

1. -METAL SEATS IN PUBLIC WAITING AREAS. Fine in tropical climates, but completely rubbish in any where that is not tropical..

.bet they don’t have them in Finland.

So.. metal seats..the new way to make people stand in bus shelters and train waiting rooms -because if the weather hangs around 1 degree the seats are freezing and you might as well be sitting on a block of ice. BRING BACK WOODEN SEATS!

2. SPRAY CLEANING FLUID IN PUBLIC EATING AREAS tables and chairs and any surface you can in great clouds in cafes and restaurants…yes yes ..you are so clean…but is it really necessary to spray all that stuff all over me, my drink, my nasal cavities. What ever happened to the clean warm cloth? And when the spray smells of lucious disinfectant and pine or lemon…what is the point of having anything with a taste on your plate..

3. STEALING YOUR RESERVED SEATING ON THE TRAIN. We thought we would treat ourselves and travelled first class back to London as it was a steal ( less than if we had booked standard) and two posh looking elderly people had stolen our seats because the train’s electronic reservation system is down, spread themselves all over our table..so we had to move . I only showed some dacorum  in not turfing then out as they  were very much my senior…just goes to show you, class  is  obviously not always the key to  good manners, and now they are eating egg sandwiches and drinking alcohol and its 11am -…hah!

yes I got 3 hours sleep again! hence the grump today…well at least we have our acoustic evening tonight… photos tomorrow!

SONG OF THE DAY –