National Express made a bad start in my book by failing to turn up at all at Ber Wick station-the 1141 to Embra, became a late running 12.23 and then 'delayed' sine die
. By which time Huttonian had caught a Virgin*, calling themselves 'Cross Country- -although they still need rails, apparently. The problem was a broken rail 'between Doncaster and York', a rather worrying vague description but the boys in Orange vests from Railtrack rose to the occasion, fixed the problem, and National Express were back on time by the end of my teaching day.
One hates to be fatist but I was not overjoyed to find my self facing a very, very, very, well built fellow traveller for the 45 minutes it takes NE to go down hill from Embra to Ber Wick. I have nothing against fat people per se, some of my best friends etc but this youngish woman never stopped eating from the moment she took her seat (with some difficultly, requiring a sort of shuffled Rumba and a sigh of contentment as gravity did the rest) I could hardly help noticing that she had two large packets of crisps, three assorted sandwiches-ploughman's, Chicken Tikka and Prawn with lashings of Rosemarie sauce. A Baguette-more chicken-and two KitKats. Just as I was about to get out the trolley came round-she looked at me,caught my eye, sighed, and said 'I shouldn't! ' and then ordered a hot chocolate, and several packets of biscuits. To her obvious disappointment the chocolate chip cookies had run out 'previous passenger choice' in the jargon- and she gently chided the trolley person:
'Never would have happened in GNER'
AS I disembarked I saw her struggle to her feet-they had just announced that a 'service of dinner' would 'commence' after Newcastle. and she was obviously determined not to be last in the queue. Given that she was 4 coaches away and only 50 minutes in hand it would have been an interesting contest to watch.
But I really had to get off.
* As it were
(The image above is taken from an unusual collection of Public Art-these figures are provisionally titled 'The Unknown Passengers,
Labels: Fat people, National Express