The first of the birthdays was celebrated with a party. It was a good excuse for many friends to meet up and share the occasion. A good time was had by all.

The second birthday was celebrated by a couple of days away from home in the Yorkshire Dales.  It was a nice relaxing time, but it flashed by  far too quickly.  More detailed posts with photos to follow (soon) ;-)   On my return from this break I had to quickly get sorted and packed for a train journey to the moon for the third birthday (a 40th celebration).

The train journey was quite relaxing despite an agitated Chinese lady, who was speaking continually on her mobile (loudly at times).  She didn’t speak English and didn’t have a clue where she was, but needed to get off at Euston.  The relaxing part was an ‘on train picnic’ of salmon, salad and potato salad accompanied (dressed with lemon vinaigrette) by wine.  An added bonus was that I was able to catch an earlier connecting train, which meant arriving at my destination half an hour earlier than expected.

I was staying with family and one of the first things I needed to do when I arrived was remove my contact lenses because the journey had dried my eyes out.  When I entered the bathroom to do this I was mesmerised by some rather sparkling black eyes!  I was being assessed by a HUGE spider that was peeping out from behind the blinds.  Each of us hoping not to be seen by the other…  I made it out of the bathroom in one piece ;-) Then I arranged for the spider to be re-homed in the garden amongst the flowers.  The window was shut so he couldn’t sneak in again.

The weekend was enjoyable but hectic and on arriving at Euston station for the return journey I did wonder if I was going to be able to get back home in time for work.  There had been a major electrical fault at Watford Junction which had caused the signals to fail.  In addition to that there had been a fatality on the line in another location.  The amount of people milling around at the station was very reminiscent of weekday rush hour.  The station information and advice to passengers wasn’t very clear, causing confusion all round.  Some of the passengers had been waiting for over an hour, luckily I didn’t have to wait that long.  When the train did arrive (half an hour late) it declassified the first class section so that all passengers from the previous trains could be accommodated too.  The first class passengers were given advice on how to get a refund.

The joy of train journeys…

It is good to be home ;-)

Bringing Gifts

18 Comments CherryPie on Aug 22nd 2011

18 Responses to “A Trio of Birthdays”

  1. Sherry Smyth says:

    You’ve been busy with birthdays! I love the sound of your on the train picnic…delightful and makes me think of something from an E.M. Forster novel!! I would, however, likely have been losing my mind listening to the Chinese lady talking loudly in her own language on her cell phone…I don’t like listening to anyone talk loudly on their cell phone but Chinese dialects are so distinct…very musical and it would be like someone leaving their ipod open for all to hear. Hopefully she found her way to Euston!

    • CherryPie says:

      Her voice was rather distinct and difficult to tune out. She did get off the train at Euston, I just hope her friend was waiting for her when she got there…

  2. jameshigham says:

    I always worry about when you mention birthdays that I’ve missed yours but a trawl just now seems to suggest that these ones did not include yours.

    As for the train journey – they like to make it an adventure these days.

    • CherryPie says:

      My birthday is in the Autumn which is probably why I love that season when the leaves are turning :-)

      Yes, trains are a bit of an adventure…

  3. Birthday again?
    How many birthdays do you need in a year, C? ;)

    I’m off to my home country tomorrow for my summer holiday.
    Hope you have a good one.

  4. >Did you go in the church? I had quite a strange feeling in there…

    Oh yes, I did indeed.
    It was just a little chapel. ;)

  5. sally says:

    A hectic but enjoyable time :-)

  6. ivan says:

    Your return train problems reminded me if a trip, a few years ago, from Perpignan to Paris by TGV. The train left Perpignan on time to the second and everything was fine for almost an hour then the train came to a juddering stop in the middle of the countryside. We were stationary for 5 minutes the the driver leant on the horn and Mr le Conducteur apologised over the speaker system. We were stationary for about 20 minutes and then slowly started moving again. At the signal that had stopped us was an SNCF truck an a man with a green flag. There were men with green flags at every signal for the next 50 km. Once past them it was the fastest run I’ve ever been on. We arrived in Paris 5 minutes late, the station master and his assistants were on the platform to apologise in person and a fleet of taxis had been arranged to take people to connecting stations because they had missed the RER connection.

    The trains still leave and arrive on time here which I understand is rather different than the UK.

    • CherryPie says:

      That sounds like a great experience, the proper way to deal with problems. Sadly not like that in the UK, although to be fair it has improved a little recently… My grandfather used to be a guardsman on the railways, he would be turned in his grave at the state of affairs with the rail service here.

  7. Mickie Brown says:

    What a busy time you have had–it all sounds like fun though! Mickie :)

  8. J_on_tour says:

    An eventful post. It seems that you like to travel in style with food, it always makes the journey more pleasurable and quicker. Reality always bites back though and we don’t always get the service from the rail operator or Railtrack to suit our needs !!
    I tend to raid the M&S food store in Glasgow Central Station for one of my longer return journeys home.
    Look forward to hearing about your travels. I have found in recent months that I can collect some good unexpected photographical material as a sideline to attending an event.

    • CherryPie says:

      I got my food from the local M&S before I set out on the journey, it was a bit more healthy than the food available on the train.

      I do have some photos of my week which will be coming soon :-)

  9. liz says:

    Sounds a like a lovely time.