My Amazing Adventure
I had an adventure getting to the Writers’ Toolkit today. I got up before 7 to have plenty of time to catch the 8:43 train into the city. I had looked at 3 different routes/ lines and decided the shortest journey to a station was to go to my home town station, also other people I know were going and they were on the train.
It was icy, car needed a defrost, some drivers seemed to have mickey mouse licenses and I got stuck behind them all! I got to the station in time, there were lots of people on platform waiting. If I had parked there and then I would have made the train, (the true irony here is I was trying to save £3 parking…) To save myself the parking fare I turned around and pulled up on the street, all the street parking has been restricted since I last lived here. So I parked a few streets away and ran back DOWNHILL, along icy pavements to the station and the EMPTY platform. I had missed it by 1 minute I think.
Then I used the machine to buy my ticket.
It rejected all my coins (this was my cue to check the timetable, but I didn’t!) I loaded the coins back in and spent the fare. THEN I checked the timetable… an HOURS wait for the next train! That would mean getting into the city with 20 minutes to spare and most of that would be spent walking across the city to the Academy!
I spent 40 minutes on the platform with (by now) FREEZING feet deciding on what to do. I should have just driven in! I decided to drive in (the train was due in 20 minutes) and I believed I could be there in the same time in a car?! I didn’t consider weather, traffic or the weekend!
All good to the motorway, then the low level foggy mist hit and I couldn’t see very well. Reached the city and then had to follow brown tourist signs as I had no idea where I was going, having never been to this place before. I then had to find parking, there were closed roads and one way streets. I eventually found a car park with a day charge (more than the station of course!) as I entered there was a terrible noise, and as I reversed the bottom of the car got scraped horribly. I got out, the entrance had those metal plates that are supposed to go down when you drive over them and they hadn’t! I went in the exit which didn’t have the same barrier. Then ticket machine didn’t work – fortunately I found one that did (as the inspector was making his rounds when I returned in the evening.)
I then had to run back to the Academy (I had 5 minutes, by train I probably would have just arrived at my destination). I went across country (literally) over the wet, soggy, muddy grassland! (My now warmed feet, now cold again.)
I made it in time for registration and signing up – but missed the pastries (my breakfast), coffee and networking. I did manage to spot my other poet friends, which was a relief! I loved the fact that today I had friends to be with – I am so used to attending these events alone, on the other hand it did mean that I didn’t really network or meet anybody new. Was lovely to be one of a row of writers’ though, reminded me of long lost days of university. And I am happy that I have already found such a supportive group of people in just the past few months.
The return journey consisted on a round trip around 2 roads that took nearly half an hour in traffic and jams and jams with Christmas Shoppers and pedestrians crossing roads VERY slowly when the lights were on GREEN for the cars! It took a long time to get home and I am now exhausted!