I’ve got a few unscheduled weeks off from work so I’m off for a bit of galavanting around the countryside.
Of course, travelling with a companion is much nicer than travelling alone and I’ve managed to tie in my different trips here and there with different people. Today I’m with Mum-in-law, she’s sitting opposite me, across the table in the train… Give her a wave.
Our destination today is Bicester, via Oxford, via, two other changes on the train too. Normally there would be just one change but you wouldn’t believe the variation in prices. At first we were planning to travel on Sunday, but the cheapest tickets I could find were £66, going up to £133 at some times of the day. Ridiculous! How could they possibly justify that much. I poked about online, played with the different settings and eventually found tickets for Saturday teatime at the much better price of £22.50. I guess the £133 tickets are subsidising ours this time.
We’ve been joined in our carriage by a “joyful” group of day-trippers on their way home from the beach. Their accompanying trays of sausage and chips are making me hungry, Hubby has put a packet of crisps on my bag, how thoughtful, even if they are the ones he doesn’t like.
The sun is getting lower and making me squint as I look out over the hills and catch sight of a field of cows. I smile slightly and wonder if these are the “summer cows” my Mum told me about the other day – some’re brown and som’re white.
All change. This is our stop. Not too bad a change, we scramble over the footbridge with our little suitcases and find our train mentioned on the screen hanging over our heads. For this leg of our journey we have reserved seats, no.47and 48. Our platform seems to be filling up pretty quickly for just a little station. People are talking to each other, curiouser and curiouser, I catch a few snippets of conversation, signal failure, over an hour delay, change at Reading.
It would appear that the train opposite isn’t going anywhere soon but we’re changing at Reading and this is our train so on we get, looking for our coach, coach D. But coach D is first class, and only goes up to 47?
Oh well, two students sitting opposite us have had the same problem, if you can really call it a problem, we’ll just have to endure first class until we reach our next change at Reading.
Our new companions were typing into a laptop the results of what seemed to be some sort of survey they’d been doing today. Of course as much as I tried to poke away at the game of spider solitaire on my phone, their conversation still filtered through. I smiled at the one comment about the young male of the species being much more receptive and so much more eager to respond to their questions and again of course, me being me, I couldn’t help but ask if they had considered the young males were responding because they were both pretty young females?
Oh no, they found that young males were more responsive in most of the situations they were recording. Sadly, I seem to have become a cynic as I just smiled and went back to playing my game of electronic patience, hoping that these two pretty young females wouldn’t have a too bumpy ride through life before they found a young male to call their own, and wishing them luck in finding themselves one who’s brains were not in his trousers.
Our train trundled on, Mum-in-law dozed, it had been a long day, and my phone kept my brain ticking over enough to be alert when our station was announced. We bundled up our belongings and went in search of the next leg of our journey.
We’d missed our connection at Reading, but that wasn’t a big deal really, we weren’t travelling at rush hour so wouldn’t have to worry about not having our reserved seats. Our next train was waiting on the platform so we settled into comfortable seats, not as comfortable as first class, but comfy nonetheless, and messaged Eldest Daughter who was picking us up at Oxford.
Eldest, sitting in her little white car waiting at Oxford station was the most welcome sight of the whole journey. .