Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I was, as you will no doubt recall if you have been paying attention, going to hold forth on the subject of the onboard toileting experience today, but in the light of my adventures over the past 48 hours, it would be mightily remiss of me to ignore the events that led, quite unexpectedly, to my turning up on my dear sister's doorstep in Battersea at 9:30pm (actually about 9ish, but for dramatic effect 9:30 sounds better - it'll be even later next time I tell it) begging for food and the use of her sofa-bed for the night.

It all started at around 7:30 when I was getting ready to leave the office, after a late meeting about something with which I was not really involved and to which my contribution was limited to a few rare but, dare I say it, meaningful nods and grunts. My soon-to-be-ex-xolleague DM (who swears he's not the identically-monikered mysterious stranger of the same name that posted the first comment on this blog) informed me that King's Cross was closed for some reason, and thus I might want to consider alternative arrangements for my journey home or, at the very least, have a piss before leaving, in case of delays. Very thoughtful chap, DM. I shall miss him. But I digress.

Off I went, into the fading light, bidding fond farewells to colleagues, relieved that at least I had missed Coronation Street. Upon arrival at Oxford Circus nothing seemed amiss, until the booming voice over the tannoy started announcing in fairly dramatic terms the severe disruption (see what I mean?) to Kings Cross services due to the closure of the station. It then reeled off a comprehensive set of instructions for passengers travelling on all routes of out Kings Cross except mine. I was most impressed - finally, a truly integrated transport system where problems above ground are communicated below (sometimes I feel it's as if the Underground people and the Mainliners don't like each other, and therefore don't talk to one another. But the fact that my own route had not been mentioned did concern me slightly. Still, I reasoned, the trains would probably be running from Finsbury Park, as had happened before.

Finsbury Park, however, was also closed, and the kindly chap in the luminous yellow thingy informed me that no trains were running and I needed to get a replacement bus service and if I just went around the corner I would find one ready to take me. Well, you can probably guess what hapened next. I rounded the corner as instructed, to be confronted by a queue of displced commuters stretching as far as the eye could see. Another kindly chap in a luminous yellow thingy politely informed me that I would not be getting on the first replacmenet bus to turn up and probably not the second either, but might stand a chance of getting on the third. I waited patiently as the queue lengthened and the spirits sank behind me, and the first bus failed to show up. Eventually, with my stomach rumbling and the light failing, I took the bold decision to give up on getting home (replacement buses have to stop at every stop destination the route, unlike the regular train service, so tend to take the best part of a day to get you to where you want to go) and put in a swift call to my beloved elder sibling, who welcomed me kindly to stay at her Battersea residence for the night.

The journey to Battersea was considerably complicated by getting on the wrong bus at Vauxhall and heading right across London to Elelphant and Castle, at which point I decided to splash out on a cab. I did eventually make it, sated my hunger by cleaning out my sister's fridge, and got to bed at around 11:45pm. It doesn't sound all that rock 'n' roll, really. Still, it felt pretty exciting at the time.

There was a replacement train service running out of Finsbury Park yesterday, which was quick and reliable, and this morning Kings Cross is open and it's as if it never happened. It's odd - I feel like I've had a dramatic couple of days, and all around me life goes on as normal.

How small and insignificant I am. Or something like that.


At 11:50 PM GMT+1 , Blogger big sis said...

A pleasure indeed! And, as it happens, you rescued me from a night of atrocious tele.


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