Saturday, January 28, 2006

Travelling tales ....

On Thursday I headed off down south to visit Nic in her studio.

I took a circuitous train journey round London, via West Hampstead and Richmond to Barnes, arriving shortly after 12.00.

I just wish I could shorten the distance between Long Eaton and Barnes.

Having said that, it only took 3 3/4 hours door to door, and I had long waits at Luton Airport Parkway, West Hampstead and Richmond.

Still being near speechless, I was pleased to find that an impromptu "whiteboard" had just been delivered to her studio.

I had with me some of my current knitting, and samples of my recent enamelling and porcelain output.

We "talked" for a while, and then took off for the nearby L'Amandine patisserie for lunch.
The soup and Earl Grey worked wonders with my throat, and I was able to whisper comfortably for the rest of my visit.

Now, having worked out the geography of the neighbourhood, I strolled across Barnes Common to the station, and all went well until I got to West Hampstead.

By then it was 16.25, and I arrived at the Thameslink station to find that two trains for Luton had been cancelled. The next one was running late, which might have endangered my connection.

However ... when the train arrived, it was pretty full.
Typically, all the seats being taken, the remaining passengers were clustered by the doors.

I had no voice to ask people to move down into the carriage.
An older couple just made it on, and the train took off leaving me to wait for the next one at 17.25.

I took myself off for an expresso before resuming my vigil on the platform.
The train came in with plenty of room to stand, and after the next station I got a seat.

The two men next to me were chatting away in German.
After a while, they realised that I was making sense of some of their conversation.

The coffee had eased up my vocal chords enough for me to find out that they had just flown in from Dortmund for the day.
They bid to build LIDL stores in Britain.
This time it was somewhere south of London.

One of them was quite excited, as he has got to know Edinburgh, Glasgow and South Wales this way. Recently while working near Bristol, he had a chance to visit Stonehenge.

I got home an hour later than expected.
The Chinese takeaway arrived minutes later!

All in all, an inspiring day but frustrating in parts!


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