Friday, July 02, 2004


Went to Crawley yesterday - what a long day that was. But it was pretty good from a work point of view - got a lot done, putting faces to names, putting my face about a bit, that sort of thing. Also, Crawley High Street has changed a lot since last I was there. It has certainly gone upmarket - hey, it even has an Ask pizza place. But the crowning glory was the Indian shop was still there - I managed to spend a tenner on spices and beans that I just can't buy in Northampton.

But it reminded me why I never want to commute again. Coming back, Euston was a nightmare - full of people staring gormlessly at the boards. Luckily for me, there was a train for Northampton up there, with a platform next to it. Who cares that it's 25 minutes away? I might even get a seat.

When I got to the train, it was a little worrying, as it felt like the Marie Celeste. But 2 minutes after I got on, another woman got on, also looking for the train to Northampton, so this was good.

The train was due to leave at 18.20. At 18.10, there was this stampede. In my trains direction. Hordes of people came running for my train, and from me having a carriage to myself, suddenly there were so many people it reminded me of the tube ride across London on the Victoria line. It seems they had changed my train, and now it was going all the way to Birmingham (and me not having heard an announcement, I was hoping it stopped at Northampton on the way). Still, I had me a nice cozy corner seat, I was sat there with my book.

Then it got to 18.17. The speakers crackled, and we get the Station Manager on the tannoy. Didn't catch all he said (obviously), but the gist of it was the train we were all crammed into like sardines wasn't going anywhere. But the train to our left was going to Milton Keynes in 15 minutes. Oh yeah, and the train to the right - the one where we can't just cross platform, but have to run all the way around this train to, that one is now the 18.20 to Northampton.

I am only grateful that the sardines on my train wanted to go to Brum. I just made the train, and I also just managed to get a seat.

I got home at 8.

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