A Step too far in York

On Saturday we set off for another visit to York. We had originally intended to visit Fountains Abbey near Ripon but as I couldn’t seem to find a way to get there via public transport, that idea had been quickly abandoned, and we decided to return to York which is one of our favourite venues for a day out. Besides which, K wanted to push J forward as a volunteer in the Yorkshire Dungeon when the lady torturer asked for someone to demonstrate all her torture equipment on. So I booked the tickets online and then picked them up on Friday from the FastTicket machine.

That's where complaining gets you! Saturday morning arrived, it was dull but warm, and we set off full of high spirits to catch the bus to take us to Huddersfield train station for our train to York. Our tickets were reserved on coach B, seats 31,32 and 36. The train arrived, we boarded coach B to find some people sitting in our allocated seats. There were no reservation cards in the seats either. Some gentleman sat opposite insisted that they too had reserved their seats but had to sit wherever they could! Huh? Excuse me! A reserved seat means that you are guaranteed to sit together in that particular seat! Someone obviously hadn’t done their job properly and you know me by now, I know my rights!

Leaving J (who had his ‘oh God no! My mothers starting again! She has her ‘thunder’ face on!) sat sheepishly in the first seat he saw, K and I marched down the train to find the conductor. He was in his room right at the end. I knocked and he came out and examined my tickets and the reservation numbers. “Come with me” he said. Hmm. How was he going to handle this delicate situation? Turf them out of our reserved seats? Or (as I secretly hoped) seat us in First Class?  We marched back up the train following him. He reached the folks sat in our reserved seats. Saw that there were no reservation tickets in the back. Asked me how many of us there were. Beckoned us to follow him and for my pains and complaints we ended up in spending the rest of the journey sat in First Class!  It was obvious what had happened. When a train arrives at the end of its journey and is cleaned and tidied for its return journey, all reservation tickets are usually placed in the correct holders at the back of each seat. Some dickhead had not done this.  So all those passengers with reserved seats who meekly got on the train and when they saw that someone was sat in their seats, they just sat elsewhere were idiots in  my opinion! Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t the passengers fault who sat down in those seats, it was the fault of Transpennine Express staff not doing their job properly!

SNC12506 We soon arrived at York station after a very comfortable journey where J finally admitted that it paid to complain as he  had so enjoyed lowering his first class seat to reclining position and generally had made the most of our situation. Whilst K and I had a toilet break, he waltzed off for a smoke outside the station as he usually does, then we went and booked some tickets for York dungeon from the travel office. We then walked from the station towards the Minster, our first intended port of call. On the way there, we decided to take a walk around the Museum Gardens nearby where the ruins of an old hospital and Abbey are to be found. Here J made a firm friend of a squirrel. A kind lady gave him some cashew nuts to give to the squirrels and he then spent the next hour coaxing a squirrel to eat out of his hand whilst I took a picture of the whole proceedings! Meanwhile poor K had to just patiently wait.

Eventually after a lifetime of ‘clucking and coaxing’ with me trying to get a good picture, we left the park and continued on towards the Minster. If ever you visit York, you MUST take in York Minster. It is a sight to be seen, you can’t really do the building justice with your camera simply because you can’t get its vastness in one shot. We went inside and decided to partake of the ‘Do Everything’ visit which allows you to go up the  Central Tower, visit the Undercroft and the Crypts as well as the general walk around the vast Mister itself.  And it was here where I made my biggest mistake.  I must have left my brains outside because I completely forgot that K has bother with spiral staircases in ancient buildings. We were warned that the climb was not suitable for certain categories of people to take, namely anyone with breathing difficulties i.e hay fever (step forward youngest son who is chock a block with his hay fever) anyone with heart problems (cough!) or anyone who suffered vertigo or a fear of heights.

York Mister from the Central tower climb We began the ascent with K in front. 275 spiral steps. Most of them very steep and narrow. K bravely soldiered on with J behind her and myself bringing up the rear of our trio. At first it wasn’t too bad, but by the time we reached the half way point, which brings you out onto a small narrow walkway on one of the roofs of the Minster, K was beggared. She rested and had a drink. Then we began the last leg of the climb. Hmm. What had I been thinking of dragging poor K up here?  We plodded on.  Now I began to really panic because she came to a point where she said that she couldn’t go on and would have to go back. Of course we couldn’t do that because there were others behind us coming up and anyway there was no way that you could pass to go back down. J was brilliant here. He and I coaxed her to just take another step. ‘We’re nearly there!’ he kept telling her despite the fact that all you could see above your head was the continuation of spiral steps!

What sort of uncaring mother was I? How thoughtless to expect my poor Down’s Syndrome daughter to climb 275 spiral steps up the Central Tower of York Minster! I felt awful to be honest. Eventually we emerged at the top where there were seats provided, and K sat down with a drink and a well earned rest. The return journey down was absolutely no problem for her but it was with some relief to all three of us when we landed on terra firmer again I can assure you! My legs were so tired they were shaking as we made our way around the rest of the Minster. We had a short break outside before looking around the Undercroft (well a smoke break actually for J). K made friends with a huge St Bernard dog who she insisted was Beethoven. (from the film.)

Please all ignore the sweat pouring from my daughers brow!

By the time that we finally ended our tour of the Minster it was time for some dinner so we made our way to McDonalds and from there we then found our way to the York Dungeon. I couldn’t take any photographs in there but they have now introduced a new feature where you all get a photo taken as you start the tour of the Dungeon. One of you has to position yourself in the stocks whilst another pretends to be the executioner with the axe. So we all ‘hammed’ it up for this picture before negotiating the dungeon itself.  This time, K clung onto J instead of me as she went round. At the same time she had her hands over her ears so that she couldn’t hear the blood curdling screams. Again, i would encourage anyone visiting London, York or Edinburgh to visit the dungeons, it really is good fun. The staff in these places really do ‘ham it up’ as they walk about with pretend blood all over their faces, dishevelled hair, costumes and big stary eyes! J thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing!

Oh no! Not much progress at all! Flying Scotsman By the time that we emerged from there it was about 16.00pm and we still hadn’t visited the Railway Museum! So we made our way back to the train station (the railway museum is right next door) so that I could check up on my beloved Flying Scotsman to see just what progress had been made. I was to be bitterly disappointed though as it turned out that it still looks exactly the same as it did last year on my last visit! They are now asking for more donations as replacing the boiler and all the other necessary work has cost a great deal more than envisaged previously. I will try and send something to help. It is supposed to be back doing the Scarborough run next year, but……………its not looking too good at the moment!

We had some tea. Well should I say K and J had a Burger King meal each sat on the platform at York waiting for our train home and I just had a cup of tea.  I did have a few of K’s chips and one or two of her chicken bites that she offered to me, as usual J offered me zilch. This despite the fact that we had bought him two t-shirts in York because the one that he was wearing had a hole under the armpit causing him to have to keep his jacket on in the heat of the day! It was quite pleasant sitting on the platform cooling down as we waited. Soon our train pulled in and we clambered on board.

Cross country train arriving at York Station.

The journey back was very uneventful. Our seats were this time correctly ticketed and reserved and J and K both nodded off for most of the journey, so I spent the entire time gazing out of the window at the lovely scenery. On arrival in Huddersfield, we walked up to the bus station and were soon home. Our legs were already beginning to ache. K took a shower as soon as she could, I had acquired a rather nice blister on my left foot which really was painful, but we had enjoyed a wonderful day. I was full of praise for K and how she had battled on up those stairs! Is she the only Downs Syndrome person to attempt and do that climb I wonder? Does she deserve a certificate of endeavour! You bet! More pictures HERE.

TG smile_regular

Back up to Scotland……………the journey home.

Glasgow Central train station On the Monday morning the day of my imminent departure I was washed, dressed, breakfast eaten, tablets taken, everything checked and re-checked ready and waiting at 09.00am!  The grandchildren were also up and getting themselves ready for school and after their breakfast they bid me a fond farewell.  Hmm.  Now I was waiting around. Twiddling my thumbs until C and C were ready to take me to Glasgow railway station. I hate waiting but I tried to keep myself occupied.  After all I reasoned to myself, the journey up had gone without a hitch so what could possibly go wrong with the return journey?

We set off from my son’s house at roughly about 10.45am. As it turned out, it was a good job that they decided to allow extra time for the journey because when we hit Erskine Bridge, we became part of a traffic jam that seemed to go on and on for miles in front of us.  I was sat on the back seat trying vainly to keep myself calm and collected. We were reduced to a crawl.  My son kept trying to reassure me. “Don’t worry Mum, we have plenty of time.”

At last we reached the outskirts of Glasgow and finally pulled up and parked inside the station. I had intended to buy a magazine in W.H.Smiths to read on the long journey home, but as it was now 11.40am I decided to go and find the platform which my train was due to depart from first and as it was already in and you could board it, I did just that.  Of course my coach was the furthest down the platform right at the far end so we had to walk all the way down.  C carried my suitcase on for me and placed it in the luggage rack, and I was pleased to see that my reserved seat was right next to it thereby enabling me to keep my beady eye on my suitcase easily.

We said our fond farewells and C and C then departed because they could only park up in the station for free as long as it is only for 20 minutes. The train wasn’t particularly busy and there were plenty of empty seats on board.  At precisely 11.50am we set off. I had some drinks with me, but when the trolley arrived I bought a cup of tea. The journey across Scotland was fairly uneventful and we were soon pulling into Edinburgh.  Ahh, now the best part of the journey!  Down the East coast line!  Hmm, I was again sat on the opposite side of the coach to where the fantastic views of the coastline was to be seen out of the windows!  Oh well, I would just have to strain and look across!  No one came to sit next to me for the entire journey so I could place my bag on the seat beside me rather than have to have it on my lap which was nice, although a young man did sit in my seat when I made a quick visit to the toilet but he quickly vacated it on my return.

National Express train from Glasgow to London It was a very pleasant journey so far running through the beautiful countryside and looking over at the coastline on the left.  Eventually we reached Darlington.  As we were stopped at the station, the train manager gave out an announcement that there had been a ‘lightening strike’ at York causing massive signal failure, therefore we were ‘being held’ at Darlington for the time being. We must await further announcements. We must have been stationary there for about 15 to 20 minutes before we were informed that we had to move out of Darlington  Station to make way for other trains to arrive, and were therefore being diverted to another route until such time as the signalling problems were sorted out at York.  Hmm.  This meant that obviously I would miss my connection at York, but we were all assured by the train staff that all tickets (including Advance tickets) would be honoured because of course this was out of our control.

Funnily enough throughout all this Technogran remained remarkably calm!  No panic attack, no hyperventilating!  I remained unmoved by it all sat in my cosy seat by myself!  Wow!  What a difference from Friday when I had been like a cat on a hot tin roof!  So we moved out of Darlington and slowly travelled along until the next announcement over the tannoy proclaimed that we had no need to divert as the signal problems had now been fixed, so we then continued into York station.  As I alighted from the train there was a member of the station staff on the platform so I asked her where I could now catch the  next train to Leeds. She told me which platform to head for (over the concourse) but didn’t inform me that the train I subsequently boarded was the slow train to Leeds!  We must have stopped at every station from York to Leeds with the result that by the time I finally arrived at Leeds it was 17.10pm!

York Railway stationBlast!  Just in time for Leeds Railway station rush hour when everyman, woman and child in Yorkshire needs to leave Leeds by train!  Then everything deteriorated into a bit of a farce to be honest and really spoiled the whole journey.  On the platform there were at least a thousand passengers (slight exaggeration I know, but it seemed like that) waiting for our train which always consists of just two carriages only no matter what time of day it departs and how many passengers are likely to be boarding.  How much does it cost a train company to put on an extra carriage?  Or at peak times even employ two more carriages?  When the train pulled in it was a mad free for all and every man, woman and granny for themselves, and its at times like this that I HATE not looking my age!  Don’t forget, I was complete with suitcase to lug on board as well.  I stashed that in the luggage rack with the help of a very nice lady  who I had previously struck up a conversation with on the platform  whilst waiting for the train to arrive. (You really had no choice but to strike up a conversation with the person next to you because we were all stood waiting on the platform crammed next to each other like sardines in a tin,  AND she was from my home town, so it would have been very difficult not be become rather more chatty than one would normally!  Anyway we are by nature a talkative lot who reside in our town even without an excuse!)

Exiting Leeds stationMost of us were all having to stand it the aisle.  I glared at anyone sat down who was obviously younger than me. (So that meant just about everyone.)  We were already late as well. This train SHOULD have departed Leeds at 17.13pm hours.  Suddenly a member of the station staff poked her head into the train doors further down, said something to the passengers which were stood near the door. Word of mouth became very handy here or should I say Chinese whispers, because suddenly the passengers near to the door where she had appeared all began getting off the train!  What was going on?

”We’re all on the wrong train!” someone said so  we all  informed one another by passing the message on, (nice of the staff to let us all know wasn’t it) and so I quickly grabbed my suitcase from the luggage rack and joined the milling throng scurrying along the platform to another waiting train further down (still only consisting of two carriages by the way)  Huffing and puffing with some curses thrown in for good measure, we all again repeated the process as before by packing ourselves onto this other train.  It then finally departed Leeds approximately 25 to 30 minutes late!  No announcement, apology or explanation was forthcoming either.  Hmm.  Leeds Station is getting rather lax of late in my opinion!

I didn’t manage to grab a seat until Dewsbury.  What an end to my Scotland visit!  Surely nothing else could go wrong?  WRONG!  On eventually arriving at our little station the heavens opened and it absolutely  poured down!  This is when I discovered to my horror that my ‘roll up’ raincoat is NOT waterproof!  I just might as well not have worn it for all the good it did. I was fed up by the time my suitcase and I rumbled into the town centre,  and one of the taxi guys spotted me struggling along pulling my suitcase and looking like a wet dishcloth, so he waited for me and I gratefully tumbled wet and bedraggled into the taxi for the ride home.  What a day!  I was exhausted by the time I entered the flat. I rang C to let him know that I had now reached home and also rang K as well.

It had been a wonderful few days up in Scotland seeing my eldest son and his family and visiting such wonderful places, but it was also nice to arrive home even if I had ended up soaking wet!

TG smile_sad

Back up to Scotland……..A wet visit to Loch Long

 

Long Loch,Scotland
Long Loch,Scotland

On the Sunday after our breakfast, my son informed me that he was taking me to see a Loch which surpassed any views that we had seen so far.

Wait Mum until you see the scenery and views, its spectacular!” so we all piled into the car for the journey there. Again it was quite a drive, and reminded me very much of the drive we made last year when we went to Stirling Castle. Mountains and moors, the long and winding road but unfortunately the rain began to come down, and by the time that we reached Loch Long it was absolutely pelting down!

I took a few photographs by winding down the window of the car which wasn’t ideal and it really spoiled the visit somewhat. I was treating everyone (including C’s mum who we therefore needed to collect) to a meal at the Stonefield (some of you will no doubt remember me raving about this place on our last visit because we had a carvery meal where you could have as much as you wanted for just £3.50 or thereabouts)  As it was a Sunday the carvery was actually more expensive this time at about £6.50 per person, but still good value in my eyes.

Taken from the car window in the rain!

A quick consultation and it was decided by my son and C that we would make our way to the Lomond Shores retail park at Ben  Lomond way where at least if it was still raining there was plenty to do and see, so we then set off to drive there. Funnily enough, by the time we reached it the rain had stopped and the sun  was shining! After parking the car, we all went to admire the view across the Loch and also spot all the fish swimming there.  Then I sauntered  over to a shoe and bag shop which was handily placed just behind where we were standing.  They had some lovely sandals outside in the sale and despite the fact that the size was stated to be only a 4, I could tell they would fit me. They had been reduced from nearly £40.00d to £19.99d. I tried them on and they fit me perfectly so I bought them as my other summer sandals are now on their last legs and have acquired some large holes in the soles.

Nearby were some trampolines with some ‘bungee jumping’ from them, so the grandchildren both went on there and we had a sit down and rest whilst we watched them. It became quite warm as the sun shone, and  I  had now seen first hand just how changeable  the weather can be around those parts of Scotland where my son and his family live. Soon it was time to leave so that we could go and collect C’s Mum and then journey to the Stonefield for our dinner.

By the time we reached the Stonefield and chose our meals, it was so warm that we all decided to sit outside at one of the tables to eat it. I had turkey for my dinner with lots of  vegetables and some new potatoes. It was delicious!  That was all washed down with some White Zinfandel wine which has now become a firm favourite with me.  We all really enjoyed it. The children finished off with some ‘sticky toffee pudding’ which they love from there. Then we all returned to C and C’s and ended up sat out in the garden drinking some more wine.  We did hear some thunder whilst we were sat out and it did keep trying to ‘spit’ a little but thankfully we didn’t suffer another downpour. To say that before I had arrived up there it has said it would rain for the duration of my visit, I think we did pretty well weather wise!

It was a lovely day, only spoiled by the rain that we encountered over at Long Loch.  I shall have to keep my fingers crossed that if we ever return there in the future it stays brighter next time .

TG  smile_teeth

Back up to Scotland…Largs and the Isle of Cumbrae

 

Our day out in Largs and the Isle of Cumbrae
Our day out in Largs and the Isle of Cumbrae

On the Saturday it was my eldest son’s birthday, so it began with the opening of cards, much merriment by everyone, gentle hints dropped about a ‘golf driver’ in my general  direction, and a trip to the supermarket for some bits and pieces for me to eat during my short stay.  The itinery planned for that day was a trip to Largs and then a ferry trip over to the Island of Cumbrae. Once everyone was showered, breakfasted and dressed, we set off for the drive to Largs.

I was informed that it was a ‘seaside’ type of place, and I was exited to see it as I have often thought that this was probably where the Large family originated from. It was quite a drive to get there, but the weather held up despite the fact that rain had been forecast for the entire duration of my stay, we hadn’t experienced any yet, and it was quite warm as well.  Once we arrived at Larg  my son tried to get his car into the car park right on the front but it was full, so we had to park in a side street away from the front.

By the time that we finally strolled along the promenade it was nearly dinner time, and a quick conference took place, where C and C decided that we would have some dinner first and then go across via the ferry to the Isle of Cumbrae.  So we all made our way to a ‘fish and chip’ shop on the front where I ordered some chicken and chips (not really my cup of tea, but all that I could have) and then we sat on the front promenade to eat it whilst watching the ferries come and go. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, the temperature was just right, and we had lots of admirers around us in the form of lots and lots of seagulls!  There were lots of prominent notices everywhere warning you not to feed them so we didn’t, but they did come very close, one was right behind us and they are very big in size.  I actually quite enjoyed the meal and the views at the dining table were fabulous!

The ferry picks up passengers

After placing any left over food carefully in the bins provided so’s not to encourage the seagulls, we then made our way over to the ferry where we paid our fare.  C had decided to take the car over as well, so I paid for us and they paid for the car. He went to fetch it from where it was parked and we all clambered in and then drove onto the ferry. Once we were correctly parked up, we all piled out and went up on the deck for the journey across. It was fabulous going across and I took the opportunity to take some great pictures of them all stood on the deck. It didn’t take all that long for us to arrive on the Island, and we were soon driving off and beginning a wonderful journey around one of the most picturesque places I have ever visited.

Everyone and I mean everyone on this small island use pedal bikes to get around, and I fully understood why. The road which circulates the island is only narrow, if another car or vehicle is coming the other way you have to slow right down and pull over somewhat to get past one another.  Families were out in abundance on their bikes (there was a hire shop right where the ferry deposits its passengers) there were bikes pulling small ‘pod type’ containers for the very small children and toddlers, tandem type bikes, every imaginable type of pedal bikes were being fully utilised by the visitors to this lovely little island.   Everyone went at such a leisurely pace.  Every so often there was a lay-by area where you could pull in and get out to explore and my two grandchildren were in their element!  They had purchased a fishing net over in Largs and this was put to very good use as my granddaughter explored around the many rocks next to the shore.  She caught a jellyfish first of all and brought it to show us, and later she caught a small crab and some more jellyfish.

Finding interesting things amongst the rocks

I walked along the rocks taking pictures and when it was time to move on somewhere else, instead of walking back the same way I had come across the tops of the visible rocks, I made the big mistake of trying to return by walking straight up from the spot where I was to the road with the result that I nearly fell into all the numerous potholes that were invisible to the eye amongst the grass.  It was really tough going trying to make any headway, and I was absolutely beggared by the time I finally reached the car!  Hmm. That’ll teach me to go wandering off on my own!  Next stop was a restaurant where the children and I enjoyed an ice cream as we sat at one of the many provided picnic table enjoying the sunshine and the fantastic views.

The next stop in our circular tour of the Island was the town of Millport and the grandchildren quickly made a bee line for the beach once we had parked up.  R went paddling in the sea without rolling up his trousers so of course they ended up soaking wet through and had to be taken off before he could get back into the car. C and C sat on the beach, but I had a stroll along it to take some pictures of two seagulls who were sunning themselves on a rock.  You could see more islands far out to sea from this beach and I think that one of them was the island of Arran which I would love to visit sometime.  Eventually it was time to leave and we set off to complete the circular tour around the rest of the island and then wait for the ferry to take us back across to Larg.

It was an absolutely wonderful place to visit or even stay for a holiday and I was so glad that  C and C had decided to take me there.  The weather was just right, the children were in their element, yes, I certainly would recommend anyone to give Larg and the Island of Cumbrae a visit!

TG smile_regular

Back up to Scotland……..by myself!

This weekend I went back up to Scotland to celebrate my eldest son’s 40th birthday.  K was off to respite for the week which explains why I was making the journey alone. We did all our packing on the Thursday so that we would not be rushing about on Friday,  and K was due to be collected by the Access bus at 11.00am.  I was not due to catch my train to Glasgow until 16.05pm from Leeds as I had chosen to journey on a ‘straight through’ train with no changes to make between Leeds and Glasgow.

the Access Bus The day had begun well enough with K and I doing the usual checking and re-checking that we both had everything packed in our suitcases, and following that we patiently waited for the Access bus to arrive. They have never, all the time that they have been collecting K and we are talking here of at least six or seven years, been late, in fact they are usually early because if any of the drivers are dropping passengers off around this area, they will often pick K up whilst in the neighbourhood.  Of course this has never really been of much concern previously, as I have never ever been setting off anywhere for it to matter whether they are early, late or don’t turn up at all, so you can imagine my angst when 11.00am came and went with no sign of any Access bus reversing up the nearby road.  By 11.15am K was beginning to panic and asked me to phone the Access bus headquarters.

Oh, the driver has missed seeing her on his list,” I was told following the guy contacting the assigned driver and ringing me back, “he has some passengers to drop off first and then he will collect her, it’ll be about 12.00pm.” 

Hmm.  Funny how this occurs just when I am setting off somewhere for the first time ever when K is in respite!  Needless to say, about 12.15pm the Access bus did eventually turn up and I waved K off as usual. Then I had a shower to refresh myself and then got ready for my own journey.  I had been in a ‘bit of a state’ to be honest with you, visualising as usual the worst possible outcomes of making such a long journey all by myself.  I was pacing up and down and trying to keep myself occupied and calm but it was a losing battle.  Why oh why do I get so uptight? Why can’t I be cool, calm and collected?  The waiting was the worst part, and I was so glad when I  could finally lock the door and catch the bus to take me down to the station.  I had decided to catch the earlier Leeds train as I reasoned that if that missed then there was always the later fast train to get me there in plenty of time.

Leeds station was very busy as usual but once I had arrived, I had lot’s of time for a toilet break before making my way to Platform 9 for the Glasgow train.  When I had been trying to get a reservation on this train, all the ticket staff at Leeds  (and the lady at Cross-country  trains) had insisted that it would be a quiet train with plenty of spare seats, but judging from the amount of passengers waiting with me to climb aboard it, I was so glad that I had insisted on reserving one. The platform was jam packed!  It seemed as if the whole population of  Leeds was off up to Glasgow! 

Cross Country train in station When the train eventually pulled in, I made my way to Coach C, parked my suitcase in the luggage rack, and found my seat 13.  Hurrah!  A window seat . Boo!  Facing backwards!  And it was now that I was to find out the pitfalls of travelling by oneself. The train was busy.  First of all a lovely young lady sat next to me who confessed that she hadn’t reserved a seat, but as we got chatting she hoped that the person who had reserved it from York might not catch the train, then she could remain there.  She was using one of those lovely little netbooks and of course we struck up a conversation about that as I am considering getting one. Trouble was the passenger who’s seat she was occupying DID get on at York, so she had to vacate it so that he could sit there.  He being a young man who then spent his entire journey listening to music on his iPod. He didn’t attempt any conversation with me at all!

Come back K, all is forgiven!” I thought to myself. (Her constant chattering can become annoying at times, but oh, how I longed to hear it right then!  Its such a long journey to make sat next to someone who doesn’t speak a word to you. I had my tea which I had managed to carry in my voluptuous new bag (now you see why I search and buy huge bags don’t you?) I had some prawn salad followed by some fruit, both in plastic containers, washed down with a bottle of fruit shoot spring water again carried in my bag.  I would have actually preferred some tea, but of the mysterious ‘trolley service’, which incidentally had been announced way back when leaving Leeds, there was no sign. This train journey is of such length that the train staff change over and we had some new staff board at Newcastle.  I knew this because ‘Peter’ who introduced himself as we boarded at Leeds, departed to be replaced by someone else (sorry didn’t catch his name over the tannoy) who was to  be our train ‘person’ for the rest of the journey to Glasgow.

Ahh!  As we departed Newcastle the trolley suddenly made an appearance!  Now for the longed for cup of tea!   Also at Newcastle the iPod young man departed to be replaced by a dark suited older man who again spent the entire rest of the journey in total silence, although he did have a habit of constantly getting up and disappearing along the carriage.  I kept thinking he had either disembarked or decided to sit somewhere else (seeing as now there were plenty of vacant seats) and so I kept putting my bag on his seat, only to have him return some minutes later much to my annoyance.

Another Cross country train The whole journey so far (as far as Edinburgh) had really flown along, we had not been held up at all or stopped between any of the stations that we called at. I rang my eldest son just to let him  know that we were on time, and would be landing in Glasgow at 20.25pm.  Once we left Edinburgh though the journey was not quite as fast as before.  I love travelling by train especially up the East Coast main line. You have the sea on your right hand side and some beautiful countryside on your left. It really is one of the most enjoyable train journeys for anyone to make.  The journey from Edinburgh to Glasgow is also very picturesque as it passes through the mountains and some gorgeous scenery. 

And so we arrived at Glasgow central.  It had certainly been an experience for me and not all pleasant, especially the getting used to sitting next to some stranger and travelling in total silence. As I stepped from the train, my granddaughter came running towards me closely followed by my youngest grandson and my son and his partner.  I was so pleased to see them all and we quickly made our way to his car for the journey from Glasgow to their house.  I wondered what they had planned in the way of days out for my short visit. After all, the weather was staying fine.  Find our where we went in my next post.

TG  Open-mouthed