Best laid schemes

After a very busy week at work I decided to treat myself to an early finish.  A friend was in the area and suggested lunch, which I thought would be a great way to start to unwind.  I was right, it was a lovely lunch and I was feeling very relaxed albeit still tired.  I walked to the station and sat on a beautifully empty train, with only 3 or 4 other people in close proximity and all of us were quiet.  I took out my book, and with only 4 pages left I continued to unwind and was enjoying the thought of finishing my book and getting home early to continue relaxing.  I thoroughly recommend the book by the way – Alison Weir’s The six wives of Henry VIII.  She’s an excellent writer, thorough research and a huge amount of information written in an interesting and accessible way.

So there I was feeling pretty good with my train about to leave.  A couple of minutes after scheduled departure time the driver apologised for the delay.  Points failure… Hopefully be moving soon.  A further couple of minutes the station announcer told everyone about the points failure, apologised and told everyone to get off the train as it was now cancelled.  Hmm, less unwinding.  Waited another 3 or 4 minutes on the concourse when the station announcer announced trains on my line were cancelled until further notice.  Unwinding stopped and started going in the opposite direction.

I accept that in truth I am lucky because if one mode of transport isn’t working I have alternatives but somehow at the time that wasn’t great consolation.  It was only early afternoon though so I knew the tubes wouldn’t be overcrowded so I went down to the underground.  My journey home, instead of a 20 minute train ride and a 15 minute walk, was now going to be one tube train, then a 6 or 7 minutes walk up and down stairs and escalators to get to the connecting line to get another tube train, followed by either a 30 minute walk or a bus.

The tube trains went smoothly and although stuffy and smelly they did deliver me as they promised they would.  And they gave me time to finish my excellent book.

Foolishly I decided that I was too tired to walk so went to the bus stop, as the bus was due within 2 minutes.  It wasn’t late and fortunately the driver was in as bad a mood as I was by then and he sped round every corner he could and seemed to think waiting at red traffic lights was optional.  Rubbish driving but it got me home quicker.

Most of the bus commuters were well behaved.  It was busy by this time as it was mid-afternoon, although miraculously there were no noisy school children aboard, and even the large gentleman I sat next to was holding himself in and trying to not impose on my space too much.  But then there’s always one, isn’t there.  A woman with a toddler in a pushchair got on the bus.  Oblivious to the fact that it was busy she didn’t fold her pushchair.  Now I do understand that’s going to be an effort but I expect people who are taking up the space of 3 or 4 people to at least acknowledge that other passengers are accommodating them.  Lots of people do, but not this one.  She also had on her back a pretty full looking backpack that doubled her body width.

If people didn’t move out of her way quickly enough that wasn’t going to stop her so she just pushed the pushchair into peoples’ ankles.  Bizarrely nobody chastised her about this.  Had she done it to me.  She then positioned the pushchair at right angles to the window and stood at the back of it, blocking off the aisle, even though the toddler was asleep and there were seats available right next to the pushchair for her to get out of the way.  As she turned she kept hitting people with her backpack.  She noticed just the once and vaguely looked at the person she’d hit.  There was no apology on her lips.  The woman she had hit, however, smiled and was starting to say it was okay.  Not sure why it would have been okay, but she didn’t need to say it anyway as the bagwoman hadn’t apologised.

The bagwoman then decided she needed to make a phone call.  Oh good.  While chattering away on the phone she hugged one of the vertical pole for people to hold onto.  She wasn’t going to share, and hugged the whole thing.  With the movements of the bus she swivelled back and forth, nearly hitting the woman who had taken the seat she’d earlier rejected.  The seated woman was trying to read a book but had to give up as bagwoman’s bag was inches away from her face.  Again, I am unsure as to why the seated woman didn’t chastise bagwoman or even point out that with every bus jolt there was a very strong possibility the backpack would hit her in the face.

To distract myself from this irritating, self-loving woman, I started to read an e-book of the woman in front of me.  It wasn’t interesting or well written but it did make me laugh, almost out loud.  It was some romance story, talking about the fabric, design and feel of a dress being worn by the character.  I turned away and when I next looked the character had moved into the company of Gregory who apparently was tall and well dressed.  Then the text said “he put his enormous arm around her”.  How could I not laugh?  Did this tall and well dressed man have one enormous arm?  I know the author meant that Gregory was strong and comforting and reassuring and loving and all that jazz, but that’s not what they said 🙂

It took me an extra 30 minutes to get home and then a mug of tea and a yummy cake to start to unwind again.  Could’ve been worse – I could have had all of that during rush hour.


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