Welsh Witterings – A Journey to Remember
This week I ventured out of rural Wales and headed off to London by train to take part in a day of broadcasting. Lately, on the occasions I have cause to go to London I have taken to driving in, but as the girls were having a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s I thought I’d take the stress free option. The fact that I thought the train journey would be stress free in its self tells you that I was out of sync when it comes to public transport. This was indeed to be a journey to remember!
The morning of my trip to London arrived and I was up bright and early in order to make the three hour drive to drop the girls off at their doting grandparents before catching the train for a two hour journey into Euston Station. Everything was packed, the tickets were booked, the nights’ accommodation was booked, the taxi from the station was booked and I was well prepared for a day of talking about food history, what could possibly go wrong? Well for a start off if you end up in front of yourself with time to spare, do not under any circumstances start a few little chores before you leave, because you end up late. I had the lack of good common sense to think, I’ll just pop that washing in and have a quick tidy up and ooh I could do this and that and the other before I go, after all I have hours to spare. Well I ended up leaving home an hour later than planned and then with traffic jams and a petrol stop that hours delay led to arriving at my parents three hours later than scheduled and just an hour ahead of my train departure. Nevertheless, despite a somewhat delayed start I arrived and in time to catch my train, so all was right in the world of Seren.
I felt like a college student again as my Dad drove me to the train station and as he dropped me off and I waved him goodbye I suddenly realised how long it had been since I’d done the London trip on my own. I pottered in to the train station and approached the self-service machine where you swipe your debit card to collect your pre-paid train tickets, all was going well and then I realised that my purse was not in my handbag. With my heart racing I checked through my luggage, but it was gone. In a busy railway station, with no cards or cash it became apparent that my purse had been stolen. With the clock ticking until my train’s departure I hopped in a taxi and headed back to my parents, now I really did feel like a teenager again.
Twenty minutes later I arrived at my Mum’s front doorstep and the terrible reality of a stolen purse was now fully upon me, after a series of phone calls to cancel all my cards and a few calls to the rail booking service I was somewhat shaken, but ready to board that train to Euston. So take two took place as my Dad drove me back to the station and used his debit card to get my re-paid tickets from the machine. I finally boarded the train, destined for my first change over at Northampton. I was now going to arrive in London at 10pm, but after a delay at Northampton I eventually arrived at 11:30pm. As I trudged up the hotel stairs to my third floor bedroom it suddenly occurred to me that tomorrow television chef, Matt Tebutt and I would be doing a full day of radio interviews with radio stations from across the country and so sleep was in order.
The next day I was up bright and early and ready to face the world. As Matt Tebbutt and I gave interviews with various radio stations and talked about the changing tastes of British food, the day flew by and on the return train journey I must confess to a feeling of exhaustion. As I ate my cheese filled croissant, I couldn’t help wondering how on earth Patisserie Valerie had managed to heat the croissant enough to melt the cheese yet the tomato was as cold as ice…quite a skill.
With my London adventure over the next day was Hattie’s best friend’s Birthday and so the next evening was not spent on a train with a curious croissant, but in a cold and muddy field watching fireworks. I think mud and cold beats train stations every time!
Well until next time I bid you a fond farewell from West Wales.