I love train journeys.
It probably helps that I was going somewhere I really wanted to be and that it was a really sunny day – even at six o’clock in the morning!
I got my hair dyed yesterday, after about 4 months of forgetting to do it and having 2 inches of grey hair showing. It does look lovely again, my natural colour but with an added hint of red which suits my skin tone really well and makes me look natural and not like I’m going prematurely grey! Unfortunately that and an emergency shopping trip on the way home meant it was a bit late and I was a bit too tired to do any packing before I went to bed. It had to happen before I left the house; meaning a few racings up and down stairs arguing with myself as to whether to take jeans or trousers, boots or shoes and all that, and finding out from Dan that a larger suitcase might not be wise as a wheelchair was going to be involved in the mix.
Yes, the wheelchair. Dan has a heart condition, and a wheelchair is a great plan when his parents are huge fans of visiting big gardens. It means he can see the garden without having to walk too much and wearing himself out.
All that said, I’ve not actually said anything about the train journey that was so good. Talk about getting sidetracked!
Right. The journey. It was a pleasant walk across town, not too hot and the sun just starting to show it’s face. I always give myself far more time than I need to make the walk, I don’t like getting to the train out of breath and all hot and sweaty. I got to the train station with about 20 minutes to spare and had time to just sit and watch the comings and goings of the station (and laugh at Dan over the phone for still being in bed after I’d been out of bed 2 and a half hours and completed a 3 mile walk!)
I got on the train with no problems and sat watching the fields go by, and noticed that the rapeseed flowers had faded but that the poppies were shining out everywhere from the grain fields. It really was pretty, along with the elderflowers and cornflowers! I didn’t attempt to take any pictures through the windows because the train windows weren’t as clean as they might have been and when the light isn’t so good the pictures just get blurry and annoying.
As is my usual habit, I always take a flask of coffee and some biscuits and similar snack foods for the journey; partly because I like to, and partly because it guarantees no travel sickness on the way. I think it’s just because I can; on a coach hot drinks are frowned upon, not least because the roads are not as smooth as rails and there is too much opportunity for the coffee to go flying and for people to get hurt. On a train there is much less risk of that, and on the longer journeys there is generally a buffet section where you can buy both hot and cold food.
We got to the changeover station and I walked over the bridge to platform 3 ready for the next train and sat resting for a minute or two waiting for the train to come in. It was a minute or two late, which made things a little interesting as the train was raced along the track to make up the time that had been lost earlier. My second coffee of the journey was almost in danger of spilling and I ended up drinking it a little quicker than I normally would have, to protect the linen trousers from spills! (The second train is definitely a bit older and tends to be a bit rattly)
However, my inner 7-year-old surfaced in the face of the clattering journey. I loved Thomas the Tank Engine as a little girl, and I loved the story of Thomass calling to the coaches to “come along, we’re rather late” and the coaches singing back “we’re coming along, we’re coming along”. The wonderful thing was that I could hear the coaches’ reply on this part of the journey. As the wheels clattered over the joins in the track, it really did sound like that refrain “we’re coming along”!
I suspect people on that train may have thought I was slightly crazy, smiling stupidly listening to the coaches coming along, thinking of all the Thomas stories I’d heard as a child, but what the heck; I loved Thomas then and I still love Thomas now, and I’ll take any excuse for a train journey I can get, especially if it’s a trip to see Dan.
Then we got to Lincoln, and the part of my journey that wasn’t by train, but was still lovely. The first real hug in 12 days and the knowledge that I was going to spend 48 hours with someone special.
I may love train journeys a great deal and some journeys in my mind are the best part of the trip; but this journey, while nice, is always eclipsed by the destination.