Memory Lane – part 1

December 21, 2009 at 10:19 am Leave a comment


This weekend included a major trip down memory lane.

Firstly, there was the use of public transport. I don’t use public transport these days. This is because:

a) I live in the countryside and it is, therefore, three miles walk to the nearest bus stop; the buses only run on every other day of the week; and, they don’t go anywhere that I wish to go

b) I prefer the comfort, safety, and flexibility of my own car

c) Public transport is crap

d) Public transport is frequented by oiks

When I do use public transport these days it is usually from the relative, if over-priced comfort of the first class carriage, paid for by my employer. That said, Virgin breakfasts are not what they used to be either. Shame on you Branson.

This weekend, however, I was forced to catch a train, at my own expense, from Crewe to Oxford, via Wolverhampton of all godforsaken places, on the Saturday and returning in reverse on Sunday.

It was fortunate that I got to Crewe Station earlier than expected on the Saturday because the train I had booked on was running 15 minutes late. As I only had a 10 minute window for my connection at Wolverhampton this could have been a disaster at the first hurdle, but I managed to get an earlier train. Upon arrival at Wolverhampton I discovered that my connection to Oxford was already running 45 minutes late, so I needn’t have bothered. All this meant was that I had longer to wait on the freezing platform. When my train arrived it was standing room only. The train was packed with pissed up Stoke fans en route to Birmingham to lose to Aston Villa. I had to eject an oik from my pre-booked seat. he didn’t go quietly. Thankfully they all got off at New Street so I was able to complete my journey south in relative comfort.

I had to do the return trip on Sunday morning, slightly hung over. But more of that to follow. I had time to enjoy a latte and an Eccles cake at the station but, this time, everything was running on time. However, the seat booking system was down so it was a bit of a free-for-all. And, this time I had to share the carriage with a number of hard-drinking Birmingham City fans en route to a good draw at Everton (seven games unbeaten, seventh in the Premiership, ahead of Liverpool). Keep right on!

I was also sat behind a lad in his early twenties who was, apparently food obsessive. Firstly, he was inappropriately dressed – wearing a sweat suit made of material with the characteristics of sponge, although he was wearing one of those funny looking bobble hats – the one’s without a bobble. I’m guessing that they are called something other than “hats”…….He spent about an hour on his mobile phone, during which he phone four different “mates”. Each conversation was almost identical. “How ya doin’ mate?” After which he would tell them about the “bostin'” party he’d attended the night before and a strange mobile conversation he’d had about midnight with someone who was less than “matey”: “An’ he said to me like don’t phone my phone and I said to him I’ll phone his phone whenever I wanna……” And, every conversation included the question “So what you ‘avin? Roast dinner?” and the instruction “Tell your ma to put mine in the post”.

The North West had been hit by snow in the morning. Manchester airport was closed. C asked if I wouldn’t mind getting a taxi at the station as she was worried it was a bit icy for her little Peugeot. I didn’t. Mind that is.

I got a taxi at Crewe Station and everything was fine until we hit Sandbach. And when I say “hit Sandbach” I mean that quite literally. Once we hit the ungritted roads, the taxi (a battered old people carrier of some variety or other) could not cope. We crashed twice. Nothing too dramatic just a couple of gentle slides trying to navigate bends. On the first occasion we came to a gentle rest against a lamp post. On the second we mounted the curb, narrowly missing a small girl being dragged in a toboggan by her dad, before settling against a tree. The old guy who was driving apologised profusely but stated that he did not think that he could go on. And so, I had to walk the remaining two miles home in the snow, in my sensible, if unsuitable, footwear, carrying a heavy bag. And so I trudged back home to the warmth of my wife, home, and a bowl of pea and ham soup, with my lovely four-wheel drive Audi Q5 sitting in the car park….

The joys of public transport.


Entry filed under: Bradwall, rant, travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Bygone Age Memory Lane – part 2

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