Thursday, 3 February 2011

Train-pocalypse - 24th Sept 2010

So yesterday I went to London to learn to proofread. I set off at 6am with my red and blue pens like a model student. Little did I know that I was going to experience another ‘Train-pocalypse’. Yes. A Train-pocalypse. Loosely defined (by me) as a disaster brought about by the hideousness of our british weather combined with our inability to run a proper train network. I really should expect this by now, but there we are. It seems I am slow in both proofreading and predicting a Train-pocalypse.

There is something about me and trains that causes these ‘last days’ type scenarios to unfold. I am going to Edinburgh in a few weeks and one of my friends is actually concerned that my arrival will cause some massive flooding/high winds/snow storm to occur. Either that or it is 99% certain that they will be doing blessed ‘engineering works’ and she will have to drive several miles out of the way to retrieve me.

About this time last year I was on a train that had to reverse out of flood waters and then deposited me at a random station two and a half hours from my house in the middle of the night. Last night I managed to add another disaster scenario to my list - lightning strike!
Yes, about five minutes from Reading station our train suddenly slammed on the breaks, much girlish shrieking ensued (err, that so wasn’t me) and then the train guard’s harassed voice came over the tanoy to say that Reading station had been struck by lightning and we had all ‘best find another way to get home.’ Hmm.

This was when I realised I had three pounds and an array of coppers to my name and my phone battery was dying. But the station would have amenities, I hear you cry! No. Nothing. Just random houses and no cash machines. There were lots of taxi drivers hanging around, vulture like, waiting to prey on our insecurities and charge us hundreds of pounds to drive us home or to Reading station which, presumably, you couldn’t get in or out of anyway.
After much waving of my phone to gain signal while its life slowly drained away and a slightly embarrassing shrieking moment as lightning cracked right over the train (I think the phrase was ‘we’re all going to die’) I managed to get hold of friends in Oxford who launched a rescue mission to get me home. Lovely people!

 So this is what happens if you try and learn to proofread. Not so glamorous, eh?
And people, next time you hear lightning or see heavy rain, think of the poor soul who is stuck in a train-pocalypse. It could be you.

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