Monday, 29 October 2007

Demob happiness

Everything about today's commute went wrong. Trains from Portsmouth had been cancelled due to over-running engineering works. The train that eventually put in an appearance at Guildford was packed. I spent the next half an hour trying to read Harry Potter whilst not sitting on the rather put-out gentleman who seemed to think that just because he'd been on the train early enough to get a seat, that somehow entitled him to a premium amount of personal space. But anyhow, a most unpleasant journey it was. For once, I was heartily pleased to see Clapham Junction loom out of the mist. But the connecting train wasn't there. So I was late to work. Again. Coming home, my first train was late. I subsequently missed the connecting train. My second train seemed to get lost in the short shuffle from Waterloo to Clapham, turning up half an hour late, and I then missed the connection at Woking. I eventually got home two and a half hours after leaving work. It's a distance of 25 miles as the crow flies. That's an average speed of 10 miles an hour. Pitiful, isn't it?

For once, though, I didn't actually care. I was taking a perverse enjoyment in the lateness of the trains and the extreme rubbishness of the commute. You see, I've found somewhere to live that is within walking distance of work, and I'm moving this weekend. This means I have only eight more rubbish commutes (and five in which I need to complete Harry Potter prior to the Inaugural Meeting of the Inapub Bookclub on Thursday). I am enormously pleased. And, whilst it's hardly a pleasant walk, being a little over a mile along a traffic-choked main road, it will be wonderful after five months of commuting. In fact, I can't wait to move. I will have evenings again. I can set my alarm clock later than 7am. Later than 8am. If I'm having a bad day, later than 9am. And have heating. And, with a minute's walk to the river, it's entirely possible I can row again, as well*. In fact, I might even get to the stage of not actively loathing everything about London with the sort of passion only possible in someone who has been brought up with the unshakable conviction that it is right and proper to flee from the South East to Yorkshire in search of a better quality of life. I might even enjoy doing London things.

But it's possible that I might just the teensiest bit miss living in a crazy house in scary woodland with suspected axe-murdering pseudo midgets, a feline ginger sex-pest, a poorly toilet-trained siamese bully and a larceny-loving overgrown lap dog...


*Having checked my nearest rowing clubs, it turns out that the captain of the women's squad at the club a mile from the new pad is someone I used to row with in a former life. Rowing is a small, small world.


Casdok said...

I love doing London things!!

Rob Clack said...

I bet you could divert your walk to work away from the traffic-choked main road onto something narrower, less choked and more interesting, if a tad longer. Might be entertaining to explore various alternative routes, just for the hell of it. Of course, since I have no idea of your start and end points, none of that might be practical.

But Why? said...

Glad to hear it - I'm hoping that I will, too. What sort of London things do you get up to? Does C get on with London??

Funnily enough, my reputation as a navigator seems to have preceeded me and my colleagues are already placing bets on where I will be on Monday morning when I realise I've got lost on the way to work. The most unflattering suggestion has been Aberdeen. Only one brave soul thinks I'll be able to make it in without any help. Given this, I might wait a week or so to familiarise myself with the area before trying anything more interesting.

KindaBlue said...

Well done! Sounds like it's all coming together.

(Home + car + rowing) - (SWT + feline molestation) = :-)

Pixie said...

sweet and sour stuff going on here. excitment and pain.
Hope the move goes well. And i guess you get a new place to visit in Yorkshire at weekends.

But Why? said...

Spot on. Though you missed the other partner in commuting crime which is Silverlink. Oooh, they make my blood boil, but not for much longer. I have only 6 more commutes. I was thinking of getting an advent calendar and having four chocolates per remaining commute. It's an important milestone coming up....

Yup. I shall miss the space in this sprawling, foliage-encrusted house. I think I'll even miss the all-pervasive mud. But you're right: I have lovely and exciting new places to find, new people to meet, new boats to row in, new racing kit, new challenges to solve... Just how DOES one get a parking permit arranged prior to moving?

trousers said...

Good luck with moving. Not that it's about luck, but you know what I mean - I hope all goes as smoothly as is possible :)

DJ Kirkby said...

Looking forward to reading all about your move!

But Why? said...

Thanks for the good wishes. I'm hoping it's going to be totally untraumatic, deeply relaxing and verging on the dull. xx

I shall do my best to oblige, though if all goes as planned, it may not make for exciting reading. I'll be sure to take plenty pictures, just in case. xx