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Happy autumnal equinox, and happy birthday to me. - Sauntering Vaguely Downward [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Happy autumnal equinox, and happy birthday to me. [20120922|16:17]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Dear London Midlands train service,

I appreciate that operating smoothly out of Birmingham New Street with its 24+ platforms that it tries to pretend are only 12 by calling them a, b and even occasionally c, is a farcical aspiration. But my journey home last night passed beyond farcical and into the realms of "episode of Benny Hill".

I arrived at the station to find the 19:49 to Worcester Shrub Hill had been delayed. The departure board indicated nothing about when it might be expected. I waited several minutes and the following announcement was made.

"The delayed 19:49 to Worcester Shrub Hill will be arriving on Platform 12b in five minutes."

I joined the mad stampede to Platform 12b, which was already packed with people expecting the 20:12 to Plymouth that was actually displayed. Five minutes later came another announcement.

"The train now arriving at Platform 9b is the delayed 19:49 to Worcester Shrub Hill."

Cue a second stampede. The train arrived. The doors did not open and the train remained dark.

Five minutes later, a train arrived on Platform 9a and an announcement was made.

"This announcement is for the London Midlands train crew. The delayed 19:49 to Worcester Shrub Hill will now depart from Platform 9a."

The third stampede was decidedly less enthusiastic than the first and second, although this time we were allowed on the train. Just as everyone had gotten comfortable, a Network Rail employee, who looked as if he were ready to bolt at the first sign of commuter rage, poked his head through the doors and spoke to us.

"I'm really sorry to do this to you again. The 19:49 really is on Platform 9b. This is going to be the 20:59."

The fourth stampede oozed back to the train on Platform 9b, where the doors had finally been released. We hovered nervously in our seats until the driver put us out of our misery.

"This is definitely, 100% for sure, the 19:49 to Worcester Shrub Hill and we are now leaving Birmingham New Street."

Although my brain was mightily amused by this chain of events, my eight-months-pregnant body was definitely not thrilled. Since the train departed at 20:23 rather than 19:49 as advertised, I would be grateful for some expression of apology for being forced to participate as an extra in what I can only assume was your attempt at alternative theatre. The additional entertainment for the price of an Anytime Day Single may have been well meant, but next time, I suggest that you opt for complimentary cups of tea and biscuits.

xo xo
[personal profile] nanila

~*~


Today is my birthday. I'm celebrating it by working, reading (Alastair Reynolds from sister-out-law!) and indulging in sun-worship in the conservatory with Telstar. I have drunk several cups of tea and hot chocolate and am generally feeling content. I think this may mean that I'm old now.

Sun worship
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2012-09-22 17:14 (UTC)
You are aging very well, and this is a great photo of you! Hopefully Telstar, who is most assuredly an expert in conservatory sun worship, is showing you the proper techniques!

And don't you feel like someone is playing games with you, when they do things like what happened at the train station, just to see your response? It's like, "next we'll slowly turn off the air conditioning in the train cars just to see how they react - Joe, take notes".
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:11 (UTC)
He's certainly teaching me the fine art of tummy-balancing. It's quite nice in the evenings when I'm on my side on the sofa and he acts as my blanket.

Next time it'll probably be "Let's flash the carriage lights in a stroboscopic pattern". Sadists.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:09 (UTC)
Thank you, Bela!
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[User Picture]From: lapswood
2012-09-22 17:49 (UTC)
That's a lovely photo of you. Your day so far sounds like bliss! ;0}
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:09 (UTC)
Thank you. It was a lovely day, nicely rounded off by the return of the bloke in the nick of time. ;)
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2012-09-22 18:01 (UTC)
If by "old" you mean "beauteous" and "appreciative of simple pleasures", then you are correct! Happy Birthday! The sun in Portland is also helping you celebrate, as it has made its first appearance in days!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:08 (UTC)
Belatedly, thank you! I think it's all the hormones making me excessively relaxed. It's going to be weird returning to my old excitable self (assuming I do!).
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[User Picture]From: enterlinemedia
2012-09-23 01:59 (UTC)
nice picture. The drama with the train sounds so bad that its funny
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:07 (UTC)
I decided to send them the letter. They've acknowledged it but I haven't had a full response yet...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:06 (UTC)
Still getting bigger in the stomach. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE
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[User Picture]From: saltdawg
2012-09-23 22:27 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, how is "Worcester" pronounced over there?
In New England, it usually comes out as "Whistah".
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:06 (UTC)
Here, it's more like Wuhsteh.
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2012-09-24 19:26 (UTC)
Happy belated birthday!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-02 13:05 (UTC)
A very belated thank you!
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[User Picture]From: thatdamnninja
2012-10-03 21:45 (UTC)

I beam at you.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2012-10-09 16:40 (UTC)
And I beam back at you (with a bit of extra bounce because I'm sitting on the exercise ball).
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