Racing for trains is not an enjoyable pastime but one in which I indulge all too often; no matter how much time you have in the morning it always ends up in a frantic scrabble. The earlier you rise, the more time you have; the more Time slips away.
At the far end of our street lies one of the main bus-routes into town and jogging past rows of houses one is afforded a frustrating view of the buses shooting past the junction, each one a reminder of my urgency and the fickleness of time. If only, if only, echo my flurried footsteps, trotting now. One, two, three buses pass by before I reach the busy junction crossing where I know time will stand still as you wait. No point in checking your watch. Though I do, in the hope that this ritual will appease the gods of public transport. One person at the shelter. I zip up my coat. She turns and says “Good Morning”. I reply. Then silence as we wait. Just her and me. And the rain.
It is only a 10 minute journey into town that can stretch out to near infinity when you are in rush with deadlines to meet, like a train to catch. But this was an early Saturday morning, so chances are I would make it. But the bus that pulled up was the Irony Special – I may have been running late, but it was running early, with no urgency to pull away from stops, or desire to beat the lights, instead a casual somnolent journey where once again, half way down London Road, time stopped, and fearful of meeting itself coming back, the bus halted and waited. No one got on and no one got off.
I could almost see the station. But what to do? I weighed up the options.
Should I get off and walk/run the rest of the way? If I did that the bus would surely pull away the moment I alighted.
Should I get up and, oh so politely remonstrate with the driver? I did, after all, have a train to catch, and I’m sure all the other passengers had places to be.
Should I sit and wait? We’re hardly likely to be here for ever.
And as I sat and considered these, the indicators on the bus flickered into action, the engine revved into gear as this transport of delight pulled away – and stopped at a set of traffic lights showing red.
But now it is 9:13. I am on platform 4, with a choice of trains. I boarded the Train, glancing at the name, The La’al Ratty. I smiled and new that it was going to be a good day.
And it was.