A bit of an adventure
I don’t usually find myself on Stroud station on a Friday afternoon but with the afternoon sunshine falling straight onto the bench where I was sitting, at that moment it felt good! As the woman sitting next to me fished in her bag for her sunglasses, we agreed that having the sun on our faces on a February afternoon was a real bonus.
I’d been given an extraordinarily detailed itinerary, including seat reservations, connections, taxis and hotel. Being used to doing my own thing, I found it quite hard to go with the flow and not try too hard to be independent, so I simply followed directions.
They worked perfectly.
I arrived at Kings Cross at exactly the time specified (spooky) and waited underneath the departure board for my train just as the departure for Hull was announced. It must be forty years since I last made that journey…wow.
Standing amongst the commuters, I must have stood out like a sore thumb though - I was the one gazing around and taking photos of that great architecture! I was waiting for a train to New Barnet. Totally new territory for me and how grateful I was that the travel arrangements put in place for me were working so well.
As I sat on the train for the short, half hour journey, my phone pinged with reassurance! As we pulled into New Barnet, it rang. “Hi Gill, Kev here - see you in a minute”. Of course, our youngsters living the London life think nothing of such things, but for us country bumpkins, it’s a bit of an eye-opener.
All of that worked beautifully and I reached the bottom of the first page of my itinerary without a single hitch. It’s never much fun to stay in an hotel alone, but a good night on the TV and a large glass of Merlot made for adequate company.
As did the chatter with friends on Facebook arising from my photo of the sign in the hotel bathroom!
A series of similar texts and a second page of incredibly detailed travel planning brought me to my destination for Saturday morning - not quite as I’d expected!
My work complete, it was time to move onto the last few steps of my journey, changing trains at Finsbury Park: still exactly according to plan. But it was time to move off piste, because instead of going back to Paddington and catching the train back to Stroud as described, I headed back to Kings Cross.
I had a lunch date!