I cannot fault British Rail! Or, at any rate, the version we have in East Anglia, which is called “One”.
There is work on the line between Norwich and Diss and so the Norwich people have to be bused in. Diss is my nearest station (well, actually, it isn’t quite, but the nearest is on a very slow line where you have to change at Ipswich so I don’t use it). I picked up my pre-ordered ticket and spoke to the conductor as I toodled along the platform.
“This is the London train?” “This train is going to London, yes,” he replied, more correctly. We grinned at each other. He was extremely handsome and a pleasure to grin at. Later, he came round to check tickets. I eyed him surreptitiously – he is a good fifteen years younger than I and I had no unwholesome thoughts. His name is Errol.
As I neared Liverpool Street, I went to the lavatory. I was rather dismayed to find a long, thin anaemic-looking turd floating in the bowl. Not that I haven’t seen worse, but the next person in might think I’d done it – I could see it was a confirmed floater. Indeed, two more flushes didn’t eliminate it. Fortunately, no one was waiting at the door when I left to lurch back to my seat. The train was going very fast and we arrived five minutes early.
Furthermore, the bus took less than fifteen minutes to get to Trafalgar Square, instead of the thirty-three suggested by the website.
The monochrome one of the girl at the window – there is also a boy looking through the telescope but he is not easy to see – is beautiful and has been painted with great charm. I could spend a long time looking at it. There is a great deal of detail and I love the unassuming skill of the artist.
The children were enchanting. The cherubic one at the back looks so proud of his splendid uniform whilst the eldest has a more confident air of familiarity with his fine clothes. The little boy at the front is, regrettably, clutching a bird so hard that I’m afraid he is hurting it, but I adore his badly cut fringe that looks as if he hacked away at it himself with a penknife.
I hadn’t seen El, Phil or my sister M since Christmas, and we were glad to see each other. An hour or two in the National Gallery, a good lunch and a wander round Covent Garden, then I came home. Again, the train was on time – a pity one has to remark on it when it should be unremarkable, but at least it can be said.
And dinner waiting for me. Mind you, I’d cooked all but the vegetables myself yesterday, but I was glad of the foresight.
It’s my holier than thou Sunday tomorrow, to church at 7.30 to set up for the early service and then back at 10 to play the organ at 11. Have I practised? The answer, as ever, is no.