Z goes to London

I’ve been busy for a few days and have not sat down at the computer very much, and when I have, it’s been to check other blogs rather than my own.

I had a day in London on Thursday, walked a good five and a half miles and my foot bone survived it, though I have to confess I was a bit blistered, after a couple of months of lounging around. I’d bought my train ticket online as usual and, once I got to the station, went to download it, only to find that I’d inexplicably been signed out of the website. I had the email confirming I’d bought the tickets, but I tried numerous times to sign in and couldn’t do it. I tried to reset my password and it didn’t make any difference.

It did in the end, of course, and it was just in time, after a good half hour because, just as I finally signed in, the conductor turned up at the end of the carriage to check tickets.

After that worry – because I do worry, I can’t help it – the day went smoothly. I arrived two minutes before my appointment, which should have been more but I was so surprised at being offered a seat on the crowded Tube that I missed my stop and had to go on three more before I could rejoin the Northern line. I spoke to the builder, his workman, had lunch, visited the British Museum, where I particularly went to see the Sutton Hoo jewellery, the Elgin Marbles (because I expect they’ll finally go back to Greece and I’ll never see them again), the Easter Island head and the two pieces of Lowestoft china that are all they own. And I had a cup of tea and a bun.

And then I met A and we went on to meet his wife L, who’s one of my oldest and dearest friends, for dinner. And, embarrassingly, they won the tussle for the bill – embarrassing because I proposed the meet-up and they paid last time too. Lovely to see them all the same, it’s been some months. So it was a good day and I was home by 11.30 that night.

5 comments on “Z goes to London

  1. Blue Witch

    Time and again I see/hear about people with online tickets struggling to produce them when required. Some events or money-off places turn out to require paper copies for entrance/redemption, even when the page says that you can show the details on a gadget. With the ever-increasing cost of printer ink, it just shouldn’t be so difficult.

    Just wait until the new security arrangements for online shopping and banking come in (anytime now) – I predict chaos!

    And Happy Birthday – hope you enjoy your special day!

  2. Mike and Ann.

    Dear Zoe. If I’m going to London by rail, we motor into Ipswich, go to the Railway Station and purchase a ticket (a REAL one, a cardboard one – froma human being – one kept behind glass for his own protection). Seems to work – but for how long ?

  3. Z Post author

    I’ve not had any problem before, and I didn’t this time as soon as I could sign in. I usually download the ticket while I’m still at home and it was because it’s all been so easy before that I didn’t bother.

    Mike, it makes quite a financial difference, from Diss, to buy the ticket in advance. When we go to London from Reading, we just buy the ticket at the station because it’s the same price as buying in advance. It’s an appreciable extra price to buy the ticket at the station and, if I know what trains I’m going to catch, I can sometimes get very good deals. Standard off-peak return, bought in advance, is £50.60, I don’t really want to pay more – I think it’s about £13 extra to buy it at the station, and there’s only one window and there’s usually others in the queue.

    They offer various options, it seems to be random. Sometimes I can get the tickets, pre-bought, from the machine, but I don’t like doing that. Either the sun shines on it and I can’t see to put in my reference number, or else I’m standing in the rain. And there’s often a queue, including someone who takes ages. They sometimes let me print my ticket, but not always, and not this time. They also sometimes offer to post it for a few pounds extra, but I feel that’s chancy as well as expensive. So I go for the simplest option – but in future, I’ll check I’m signed in while I’m on my home network.

    Thanks, Tim is cooking dinner 😀


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