At the end of a cold and damp week, Ted and Dan come down to Bedford to pick me up for the weekend. I only just got home in time because I thought I had time to make one final trip to Tesco before they arrived, and I did, but only just! We threw my bags of goodies including mulled wine in the car and left, just as it started to really rain! We made reasonable time and got back just after nine including stopping for chips on the way.
In the morning after bacon sandwiches, Dan and I washed up while Ted and Dee went shopping, and then we sat on the riverbank and watched the tide – until it started to rain! Dan managed to aquire a headache during the morning, so he was sent to bed with tea and paracetamol. Dee and I entered “major bonfire build mode” which entailed finding loads of scraps of wood and a few pallets and other bits, putting them together in a big heap and then packing them with newspaper, odd offcuts of wood and any other garden prunings we could lay our hands on.
Karen and Colin the neighbours came over with their firepit, Ted located and wiped off a load of garden chairs and set them on the bank ready – all while Dan slept off his headache! We got everything sorted just as the sun really started to go down, then went in to warm up and get ready for a big evening by the river.
We got the mulled wine mulled and the firepit roaring and generally sat around laughing in the dark and waiting for Ted to light the bonfire. It roared up beautifully and we set to roasting weiners over the firepit on homemade long-handled toasting forks.
Then we moved on to party nibbles and so to marshmallows and toffee apples and more wine while Colin the neighbour set off some fireworks close to the bonfire and the children (and me of course) played with sparklers.
It was a great night with good friends and when we finally called it a night the most bizarre fact of all was that after 8 bottles of wine between 6 people, we could all still walk in a straight line!.
Sunday morning was quiet, very much a day of rest. After brunch I coated and booted and went nail hunting in the remains of the bonfire. We’d used some pallets and offcuts of wood and other bits as well as garden rubbish and the agreement is that if you have a bonfire you get up the nails so the Environment Agency mowing equipment doesn’t get damaged when they cut the grass. There was something like a kilo of nails that I finally raked out with Dan’s help!
It was all good though. It might have seemed like a waste of a day, but I think we all needed a rest day. It definitely was worth it after Monday, I can tell you!
Monday morning Ted and I got in the car and gave ourselves an hour to get to the train station, apparently it takes 40 minutes – I arrived with 2 minutes to spare, only to find the train was delayed. When it finally arrived half an hour later, there had been a breakdown. Then they proceeded to catch up time by not stopping at any but the big stations, missing out my transfer station and several others to boot, to the great consternation of myself and some of the other passengers.
Fortunately, I was still able to get another train at the terminus, but with the best will in the world I was never going to be on time for work, and the station manager kindly wrote an explanatory note for me to give to work.
Having reached home, fed the cats and gone to work, there was blood to donate and a day to concentrate on. I’ll not kid you, it was tough. Bad train journeys leave me shell shocked. It should be simple, the worst thing being the train is five minutes late, but it isn’t. The train breaks down, it delays another, you end up following your connection down the track and missing it by moments and having to wait an hour for the next, knowing it’s going to impact the rest of your day and there’s nothing you can do but wait and hope the fallout later won’t be too bad.
I never thought I’d say this, but the trains are proving themselves to be as bad as busses, and worse still, they cost more than a bus journey. I need to learn to drive, badly.