The Joys of Modern Travel Part 4!!

There seems to be a bit of a theme developing here, however I am aware that at some stage I am going to have to change the record and move on! Not tonight though, there are a few words still to be spoken.

Mini Rant Number 1

Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I have recently undergone knee surgery. Actually anyone who doesn’t know me would probably also be able to guess that there is something not quite right with me, but for the most part now I am back on my feet and walking, I look relatively normal. I no longer have to avail of the use of a crutch or walking aid. Good news you say, and yes considering the state I was in 7 months ago it certainly is.

However is it not so good when trying to travel by train.

The other morning, the the trauma of having to walk from the car park to the train platform had really taken it’s toll! Ok, slight exaggeration, my leg was a little sore so I needed to sit down..happy now! So I’m the first person on the platform, but pretty soon others start to filter out.

So over the speaker comes the announcement about the next train leaving Platform 1, blah, blah, blah. I gather myself together, make sure I have all my belongings and step forward on the platform. After almost 20 years travelling back and forth I am a pretty good judge of where the train usually stops, for the carriage I want anyway and sure enough it slows down. Now on these new fangled trains opening the door is almost a two person operation. The doors are so wide that the button to open them is a fair bit to the left of the door. A kind gentlemen who is a little closer to the left hand side than I, steps over to hit the button and my bad leg and I step forward to grab the rail and hoist ourselves onto the train. Then out of nowhere comes this…well I was going to call her a young lady…but…this young lass just barges in between us both and onto the train, actually pushing us out of the way slightly. I’m not a violent person in any shape form or fashion, but right at that moment I had a clear vision in my minds eye of me pulling her by the pony tail and hauling her ass back off the train.

It happens at other times too. The train pulls into the station and the people from the platform are trying to barge their way past the throng trying to come off. Now I’m no rocket scientist but would it not make sense to let it empty a little before you try to embark, increasing your chance of finding a seat ffs! In fact would it not be a common courtesy to just wait until the others disembark!

Mini Rant Number 2

Which leads me nicely into my second foray into rantdom! Seats.  Some days there are just not enough of them.

Now that is not exactly the rail company’s fault. I mean unless you have physic powers how would you ever be able to know how many people are going to travel. Ok sure, look at peak times and try and address those issues! But for the most part you can always get a seat somewhere.

Unless of course someone has placed their bag, coat, mobile phone, briefcase, hat, scarf and kitchen sink on the spare seat beside them. I mean, hellllooooooo did you pay for that extra seat?? Cos see if you didn’t, get yer shit picked up and make way for the irate woman with the bad leg who wants to sit down!! And you can stop giving me that pinched face look too, you only bought a ticket not the whole dam train!

Mini Rant Number 3

And last but not least, access onto the platform itself!

As a result of said knee surgery I am at present unable to descend stairs. I can climb up them, albeit with a lot of effing, blinding, grunts and groans but for some reason going down eludes me.

The station I depart from at home time is underneath a bridge…sort of. Being unable to do the stairs I have to walk about 50 yards further and head down a ramp which I am guessing they class as a wheelchair ramp. My advice,  if you’re in a wheelchair avoid it at all costs, that fecker is steep. You lose grip or your brakes fail and you’re on a one way ticket to tracksville! Anyone hanging onto the back of you is going to fly like a kite! Go another 50 yards further on and down through the car park, it will be a much more pleasant journey, I promise! That’s what I now do.

I never realised until I hit that hill how much of a toll surgery had taken on my muscles. I was kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, finding it really difficult to hold myself back and scared witless I was going to topple forward. I eventually made it down but I was practically doubled over hanging off the hand rail. People had joked with me when I went back to work about me carrying walking poles and I had laughed and said I’ve just got rid of crutches, but I could have done with them that day! Obviously as the days go by and the more I walk the strength returns and I shall soon use the hill as exercise, but I will proceed with caution and take a parachute!

I’ve lust let Paul proof read this post and his response was that I am going to get known as a train hater. To which I replied, I’m not a train hater though, I love the train, it’s just paying for it and some of the other passengers are the problem :)

The Joys of Modern Travel Part 3!

I’m blogging from the train. Not because I have anything to say, but because I can.

I’m availing of Translink’s free Wifi! As I said in a previous post it is a marvellous invention. In effect the train becomes a hotspot, affording you the opportunity to game, check emails or read the news, or in my case, write a load of oul crap!!

I was able to turn my Google Nexus into a poor mans version of a netbook thanks to the purchase of a 13 quid keyboard from Ebay! I would have written the pound sign but for the fact that the keyboard obviously originated from the States and it’s only currrency symbol is $, ffs minor blimp on the keyboard heaven horizon!

I shall apologise in advance for any spelling mistakes, the keyboard is clearly designed for people with slender fingers, not big fat sausage ones like mine! To help your imagination I resemble a Hippo hammering a handheld, but it works and with clever use of the back button, arrow keys and the delete button I have faith the post will at least be legible.

The table seat I am sitting at is also extremely useful. I quickly found out I am not a master of the balancing on the bag act. Everything goes a little lop sided until it eventually hits the floor!!

Note to self, always find table!!

Today I am indeed benefitting from the Joys of Modern Travel!!

Time to get off, must dash!

The Joys of Modern Travel Part 2!

……arrived at Station. No one there. Stepped on train. Conductor “Ticket Please?”. I need to get off at the manned station to get one. “Ok”. The train stopped at the manned station and I did just consider sitting where I was. I was having a lazy moment, which coupled with the, I can’t be doing with this bullshit mentality was making me into a rebel. Then I wimped out, cos that’s what I do, wimpier than a wimp schooled at the school of wimpness I am. Stepped off train. Guard at station “Ticket please?”. I’m going in to get one, I need a monthly and you’re the only manned station. “Well are you getting back on?”. I did ponder for a few seconds on the merits of his offer, looked at him, looked at my dodgy leg, looked at him and then looked at my dodgy leg some more. Nah you’re all right mate thanks, I’ll get the next one.

Paid £141. Felt a little sick. Bought a coffee for £1.10. Felt a little better.

Drank my coffee, waited for the train. Stepped on, travelled, stepped off and went about my business.