Sunday, October 19, 2008

John's journey to Romford - chapter Two

On the 14:30 to Liverpool Street - London - due to disembark at Chelmsford. The train went through Diss, Ipswitch, and on to Chelmsford - I hear an announcement over the PA - "Ladies and Gentlemen, we are about to stop in Chelmsford" - if you are getting off here please ensure you have all your personal belongings. Next stop - Chelmsford. I move towards the section where my cardboard box and suitcase are stowed. By the time the announcement was finished the train was stopped at the Chelmsford station - I manoeuvre the box towards the door, and was about to open it when the train started moving off again. Oh no!

I spoke to the conductor when he came through and told him what happened - he must of thought I was a real idiot. Anyway he said the next stop was Stratford. So I pushed the box back into its place and put the suitcase back too. I got a phone call from my manager asking when I would be arriving in Romford - I explained what happened and that I would be needing to get back to Romford from Stratford. After a few minutes he phoned me back and told me to catch the train to Ilford - and not Romford and he would have a taxi waiting for me there.

This time I watched intently and waited with my box and suitcase by the door so that i could get out as soon as the train stopped. It did and I managed to disembark with all my encumbrances. I had a laptop case - that was safely slung over my shoulder, a pull along suitcase and a cardboard box that was becoming difficult to keep closed. I was wearing my 'double jacket' and a 'money belt' strapped around my middle.

So there I stood on Stratford Platform number 9 - and i had to get to another platform - not entirely sure which one. I carried my case a few meters - say 5, and then went to get my box which I carried pass the suitcase and put it down and so I progressed along the platform, down the stairs into a subway and along. I kept on hearing the announcement "Ladies and Gentleman, please ensure that you keep all personal belongings with you at all times." - Any luggage found unattended may be destroyed." - and so I had this huge dilemma - How to move these things along without 'leaving them' and making sure that none of them are unaccompanied. Eventually I managed to get to platform 8 - with the help of a young rail official who kindly carried my suitcase - leaving me to worry about the box that was feeling the effects of the journey as it was coming unstuck. I eventually got up onto platform 8 and needed to buy a ticket - I found out about the ticket machine and purchased a ticket to Ilford and ran back to my belongings - whew they were still there. Pushing the box up to the yellow line, I stood at the ready.

Here comes chapter three. Told you this would be a cliffhanger! Come back tomorrow for the final exciting instalment.

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