Mirinda is at her DBA residential this week so I said I’d go with her in the car and take the trains back since it was so easy last time. I have to say that the last time was a bit of a fluke. All the trains met up with each other and I was never without a seat. I am now fairly certain this was an aberration.
The car trip up to Bath was very pleasant, made doubly so because Linda decided she wanted us to take the scenic route through little villages with 30mph zones every 100 yards. Still, it was all very picturesque if somewhat random.
Linda has a breadcrumb trail along routes we’ve already taken and the trip we made two weeks ago was plainly dotted out along the road on her display. She decided to ignore this and took us off on a less direct route. Weird to say the least. It’s like she’s decided she knows best when it comes to travelling around the country.
Still, we arrived at the uni without any hitches and parked next to the accommodation block that Mirinda has stayed at previously only to discover that she is staying in the block on the other side of the campus. We drove Sidney across and found the room.
It was here that we discovered a number of things. Firstly our phones had no signal, secondly the phone in the room doesn’t appear to have an external line and thirdly, the wifi is not very good. Fortunately I was able to connect her up to the LAN with a cat cable. We then left for Bath.
The original plan had been for us to enjoy a nice meal together before my return trip but the faffing around had taken it’s toll and, by the time we arrived at Pulteney Bridge, I decided I’d speed up and get to the station in time for the 5:13 train. I just made it.
I just had time to buy a paper and a drink on the platform. I don’t normally buy newspapers but my book died from lack of juice, forcing me to read something else. I grabbed what I thought was the Independent only to realize, once I was on the train, that it’s the local paper.
The lad who served me was unsure what it was, saying he’d never seen one before. When I thought it was the Independent, I thought he was an idiot. When I realized it was a local (presumably his local) I knew he was an idiot.
It was with dismay that I discovered there were no free seats on the train. I walked up and down it and wound up standing in a vestibule next to the loo. And so I stayed for the entire trip to Reading.
Reading Station is undergoing extensive renovations so all trains coming in or going out are massively delayed as the congestion of train traffic builds up (it must be hell during peak hour). This means you are never going to make a connection to the local trains that service the stations between Reading and Ascot. Consequently, I just missed one and had to wait on a cold and draughty, seatless platform for half an hour.
Finally the train arrived and, after about an hour and a half, I was finally able to sit down. Bliss indeed. The train to Ascot was fine although it left me with a minute to get to the subway and cross underneath to the Guildford platform to make the next connection. I managed with about 30 seconds to spare.
At Aldershot I had a 20 minute wait for my final connection. It was cold and windy. I was reduced to doing the Sudoku in the Independent as I tried to ignore the cold. I finally walked in the door after three hours.
Not the nicest trip home I’ve ever had.