It was an early start this morning. That wasn’t the problem, neither were the several degrees below zero temeperatures, as my boyfriend and I left the cosy warmth of our first floor flat, and descended the stairs to a darkened car park and an ice covered van.
Black and depressing, it fitted my mood, and seemed an appropriate start to the day I was facing.
“and if you want to get rubbed all over with goose fat”
You hear the strangest things on the radio when you are flicking through the channels looking for something to listen to in order to try and lift your mood.
I don’t think I’d ever want to be covered in goose fat, would you? They don’t even do it for cross channel swimmers now, because rescuers cannot get hold of them to lift them out of the water if they get into difficulties, although that said, swimsuit technology is brilliant nowadays, and I doubt that I would ever be undertaking a cross channel swim. I doubt if I could even swim the 50m length of an olympic sized swimming pool.
But I digress as I’m nervous. Fortunately for me the few miles to the train station was easy and quiet with all thr traffic lights on green, as we left later than I had planned and I didn’t want to miss the train as my tickets were for specific trains only. I made it though, to a startlingly changed train station, which I had last seen in the midst of it’s rennovations.
“you didn’t set that off did you?”
It’s the simple things that help you relax in life isn’t it. I’ve been worked up over this trip for weeks, and sometimes when you get to things actually happening you wonder what all that fuss was about.
I’ve been scared of catching the train, not because of it being something I’ve never done before, becuase I have hundreds of times, but because I’ve never done it on my own, and because I do have a habit of throwing myself in at the deep end my choosing that the first time I do ‘go it alone’, I pick a commuter train into London.
I have a reserved seat, will it still be there? How will I find the right carriage? Will it be marked? Will the train be packed? Standing room only? I’m in a quiet coach, will it be quiet? Will I be left alone? Will people want to talk to me?
These were all the worries going round my head. A hundred times over and more.
As I approached the barriers with a nervous look on my face trying to decide which of the two tickets was the right one to use to open the gate, I saw one of the station guards approach, friendly and polite I asked, “This may seem a stupid question, but coach A is at the front of the train right?”
Not so stupid at all it seemed, for Coach A is actually at the back of the train, since I am going backwards, but the guard simply said, “move out to the left of the platform, and Coach A will stop roughly around that sign over there.”
It was simple, and as I stood there, with just one or two people milling around where I needed to be, I relaxed a little. Only a little however as right around then the alarm went off in the British Transport Police offices and didn’t stop blaring for over five minutes. Apparently the key pad on the door to shut the alarm off wasn’t working properly. Probably the cold I thought. It was then when friendly guard chose to come out, be nosy and giving me an amused look asking “you didn’t set that off did you?”
The simpleness of a little banter, wore another little edge off my coat of wariness. This is normal, I can do this.
It is quiet on my coach. It should be, I picked a ‘quiet coach’ on purpose. I like the stillness of the quiet, people reading, working, dozing.
Fifty minutes into my two hour journey and no one has sat in the reserved seat next to me yet, although we are about to stop at the biggest station on route so I expect that will change here. There’s not much movement otherwise though, just one or two people migrating into my coach from the next along, as two of the carriages have no heating, and it’s a cold old day out there.
I wonder what I look like to other people. I am sat with just write room open typing this as I travel, it is a form of therapy, it is helping me realise all of this is normal.
I am wondering if the random shifting of tenses as I write is annoying my reader, I am wanting to go back and put it all right. I am not going to. I am going to sit here for a while soaking up the quiet, indulging in the sounds of the train on it’s tracks, and not thinking about how I am going to make it from Paddington station to Tottenham Court Road during rush hour.
I am going to enjoy the rest of my journey on this train. I am going to arrive at Paddington, find a coffee shop, and get a drink. Then, and only then will I allow myself to worry about the next part of my trip.
For now, I am just going to hit publish.
Tweet you later.
Love, The Fairy.