Friday night trains

It rained overnight and this morning dawned grey and miserable. After the heady heights of yesterday, the temperature had even dropped. Hey ho, as the great ones say.

Dennis and Lloyd turned up nice and early (a bit too early as it turned out because I was in the loo) and immediately put the final coat on the floor, telling me, in no uncertain terms, that it has to wait 24 hours before I start putting the furniture back. For this reason, Mirinda is staying at the flat tonight.

I (finally) did some work in the garden. While we dearly love our veritable river of forget-me-nots, they do tend to grow where ever they like. They’re a bit like strawberries that way…but prettier. Mirinda informed me that they were crowding out the geums and had to be moved. And that’s what I did this morning.

I prepared a bed near the fuchsia leg of the gazebo and moved a whole swathe of the little things across. Here’s the before shot.

A nicely turned out empty bed

A nicely turned out empty bed

And here’s the after shot. Instant bed of flowers.

Ah, that's better

Ah, that’s better

Given we didn’t have our usual Wednesday date night this week (what with Dennis and Lloyd still working upstairs) I thought it would be nice to have one tonight. So I hopped on the 4pm train to London (while Mirinda hopped on the 4:45 ferry), crossed to the Tube and wandered down to Canary Wharf to meet her.

We decided to eat in and had Deliverance. Apparently, the food was quite bland which is unlike Deliverance. I say ‘apparently’ because my cold, which is still hanging on, has left me devoid of any sense of taste or smell.

I had a peshwari nan and complained it had no almonds in it. Mirinda suggested it may be because my sense of taste has moved to someone else’s taste buds and had a try herself. I’d guessed correctly: they’d forgotten the almonds.

Speaking of taste…for someone who thoroughly enjoys the sensation of food upon my tongue, a lack of this sense is awful. Mind you, the chilli in Mirinda’s onion bahji was so strong it ripped through even my gunk coated tongue.

Our date was all too soon over and I headed back home. And while the trains were good and not too crowded, there was one passenger sitting behind me who gave a lot of entertainment.

It was a woman in a business suit who had clearly been over indulging in either drugs or alcohol. She sat next to a 60 year old businessman trying to read his Spectator. At first, she just collapsed on his shoulder and went to sleep but, just before Surbiton she woke up and began apologising.

The businessman, in a very plummy voice, declared that it was fine. She then asked him if he enjoyed it. He managed to wiggle out of that one by asking her lots of questions.

According to her addled mind she has recently been living in Shanghai and speaks fluent Mandarin (she gave us a dose which sounded real). She is an interior designer and lives in Basingstoke (she was on the wrong train and most of the people in the end bit of the carriage breathed a sigh of relief that she’d be getting off at Woking).

I really felt sorry for the businessman, who handled it very well but would have much preferred to have just sat and read his paper as usual. Then, just before Woking, the ticket inspector came down the aisle.

The addled woman was the last person he asked to see her ticket. Naturally she emptied out the contents of her massive bag and scrabbled around in the debris, eventually giving him a receipt from Harvey Nichols, claiming it was her ticket to Basingstoke. The guard assured her it wasn’t, describing what a ticket actually looked like.

When he found out she was bound for Basingstoke and would need to leave the train, he almost rubbed his hands with glee. She would no longer be his responsibility.

She managed to get off the train (the businessman helped her on her way and, to his credit, didn’t push her through the doors) and staggered along the platform. As soon as the doors closed and we started moving out of the station, there was a great discussion about her between the Farnham bound passengers left.

She wasn’t loud and annoying (except for the businessman) and I think she had a bit of a chip on her shoulder. I felt a bit sorry for her but felt she seemed to be her own worst enemy. Clearly she shouldn’t have indulged in whatever she indulged in. According to a fellow passenger, he’d seen her on Waterloo station earlier and she’d been holding forth at the Cornwall Pasties stand about taxes and the government in a very loud voice. He’d thought she was actually demented until he saw her walk (read ‘stagger’) to the train.

Still, all in all, a quite entertaining trip home. While I wasn’t keen on the German tourist who plonked herself next to me at Waterloo and proceeded to speak loudly to her friend across the aisle, I slowly realised she was a blessing. The drunk woman could so easily have sat next to me.

NOTE: Tomorrow I shall put up a photo of the finished floor!

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2 Responses to Friday night trains

  1. Mirinda says:

    Very entertaining story!
    It’s always Basingstoke isn’t it.

  2. Josephine Cook says:

    WOW!!! I have always said you have a very interesting life and this proves it if she had sat next to you it would have been your shoulder hahahaha nightmares oohh.
    love mum xx


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