On my recent trip to Bicester I was the visitor instead of the visited. I travelled up with Hubby in the car, and we stayed at the Travelodge in the centre of town. Hubby went home the next morning and I did something I don’t think I’ve ever done before, I stayed in the hotel on my own.
My seemingly newfound confidence held out as I visited with the Girls and Mum-in-law, returning to the hotel room on my own each evening, but then my biggest test came in the form of my first train journey since lockdown.
My ticket from Oxford to Weymouth had been pre-booked, collected and safely stored in the back of my purse awaiting the journey home. I always take a flask of coffee on car journeys but I’d brought an empty flask with me too for the train. I called into the local Costa and filled them both up, one for each leg of the trip, I’m quite happy drinking coffee at whatever temperature and two flasks meant no rushed stop at a dissapointing coffee shop would be needed on my changeover.
I still needed a ticket for Bicester to Oxford but I negotiated the ticket machine quite well, put on my mask and found my way to the correct platform where I picked a 2m distancing spot and waited for my first train .
I’d given myself plenty of time for the first train, arriving over half an hour before my pre-booked train at Oxford was due so I sat on one end of a tripple bench on the platform to wait. The metal seat was cold, and my rheumatism would probably make me pay later, but my own little secure space was comforting so the “there and then” overrode any future thoughts.
The train finally arrived and I settled myself in the window seat. Usually I would put all my “stuff” in the window seat for safe keeping and sit on the outside to protect it, however, social distancing instructions had put me in a higher risk group than my stuff and I was to sit at the window seat for a safer distance to be achieved from anyone needing to walk along the aisle.
I settled down with my knitting, feeling confident enough to drop my mask to my chin now and again to sip my coffee, but not confident enough to eat my crisps. I actually felt quite quite covid-safe, the train companies had done well with their preparation.
I do have my opinions, some quite strong, but I believe very much in live and let live so I seldom voice them. I was a little disappointed though to see a group of teenagers not wearing masks as they came through the carriage and I couldn’t help thinking that if things were the other way around, if the virus was more dangerous to the young and healthy than the old or vulnerable, how much more care would be taken by the older generation to protect them .
More from before: a variety of “visitors and visitees“.