Saturday, 12 December 2009

In the Steps of Doctor Foster

I’ve been working in Gloucester today and travelled to and from the job by train.

I’d like to do that more often but a combination of often extortionate fares, lack of left luggage facilities at stations and the unreasonableness of wanting to travel early on a Sunday often conspire against it for my jobs.

Today, though (being a Saturday) I managed to get a good deal (cheaper than the petrol and parking) and trains ran “just right” from one of my local stations, so the train it was. Well done again, Cross Country. Oh and their online ticket booking site doesn't charge a booking fee, even for journeys with other railway companies,so I'm happy to give it a plug here.

The journey was actually rather lovely. I was a little surprised (and pleased) at how busy trains were at 7.00am on a Saturday and then speeding through the Worcestershire countryside as day broke was very civilized. It was helped by a largish coffee on board for the princely sum of £1!

I always enjoy Gloucester jobs. The place has loads of good stories to share with people: nursery rhymes, murder, Roman retirees, seventies BBC costume drama and a curious juxtaposition of both Beatrix and Harry Potter! Today’s enjoyment was helped somewhat by a group of regular clients, some of whom I’ve seen more of this year than some members of my family.

Coming back, the Cotswold and Worcestershire countryside was bathed in a lovely golden afternoon light and felt distinctly satisfied with the day. (Although the coffee had gone up: it was £1.50 on the return leg!) I also noticed that he train took the famous Lickey Incline, once such a barrier to steam-hauled trains, as though it wasn’t even there.

Warwick tomorrow.

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