It’s amazing how much you feel like a loser when you watch a train on which you’ve got a reserved seat in first class during rush hour pull away as you are less than 30 feet from it.
That happened to me today.
Here’s the thing: one less twirl of the curling iron this morning, one less email, one less change of clothes discarded for being wrong-wrong-wrong (yes, there were several) – and I’d have caught that 7:27 a.m. train.
I was there in time to climb onboard (barely) with the five little slips of paper representing my tickets, receipt and round trip seat assignments that I’d retrieved from the machine as a result of my online booking. But, I couldn’t get to that climbing aboard step because I couldn’t figure out the right piece of paper to put into the slot to open the little restraining arm that stood between me and my ScotRail ride, a sleek, long multi-coach train. They all look the same, these tickets and receipts, with tiny faded print. Check out the pic below from a story in The Times. Literally, the receipt, seat reservation and ticket that will open the security arm that blocks you from getting onto the platform look THE SAME.
As I stood, jet lagged, my bewilderment obvious, a nice man in a bright orange ScotRail “I know stuff / I can help you” vest tried to come to my rescue to help me figure out which little ticket would unlock the key to my journey. That’s when the train, just yards from where I stood, started pulling away. Whoever has told you that the trains don’t run on time in the UK is a LIAR.
As it left, without me, we looked at each other, me defeated, Mr. ScotRail Orange Vest Man amused. “Next one’s at 8:31, Platform 2, Luv,” he said, as he turned away to help the next confused person and forgot me altogether.
Putting a bright spin on it, I thought, “Mistake of the day, outta the way before 8:00 a.m.!”
I still had plenty of time to make my meeting in the next city, but would’ve preferred my day to start with a little less drama.
Missing that early train wasn’t my only mistake today. Walk in my shoes with me for a minute more.
I had put my backpack up on the shelf above the seats in the train, and then needed to get it down to retrieve my computer so I could work. There was a liter-sized water bottle in the open side pocket of the backpack for hydration purposes, and it leapt out as I reached way up on my tippy-toes to get the backpack. (Those train shelves above the seats are NOT designed for people who are less than 5’2″.) The full bottle of water hit me on the head.
It hurt, just a little.
My pride hurt more.
The ticket-checker guy saw what happened.
Luckily, there was no one else in my coach. It was empty like a graveyard on New Year’s Eve. Everyone must’ve been partying somewhere else today.
Tomorrow, I will be on time for the train to the next city on my journey, and I won’t have any rogue water bottles attacking me. This is the pledge I make to myself!
Because, as Scarlet O’Hara said, tomorrow is another day.
And, just because, to make this a happy post, here’s a photo from when I returned to my home base today.
I wouldn’t have taken this picture this way five years ago, because I thought the electric lines or other modern complications would’ve ruined it. Now I know, thanks to my friend Ray of The Storyteller Blog, that these things are just part of the picture, the reality, and should be included. I especially like how the angles of the power lines and the train tracks work together. One of these days, I’m going to have time to edit and enhance pictures like this. Right now, I’m just happy to have seen the images.
Have a great rest of your week, don’t miss any trains, and if a water bottle attacks you from above, know that you are not alone. 😁
© 2022, Glover Gardens