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

Day Trip to Scarborough

As is usual when embarking on these day trips, I was wide awake and up before the alarm went off, and K was not long after before she emerged either.  J had been instructed to be at our flat at 07.00am on the dot, but as usual at 07.15am there was no sign of him, so I had to call him on his mobile.  K and I had to set off down the cat steps for the bus and he came dashing down them just in time.  He was really puffed out!  When we arrived at Huddersfield station we had some time to wait for the train so we had a cup of tea and a toilet whilst waiting.

I made a complete fool of myself once on board the train, as I went down to coach C where I thought our reserved seats were, only to find some people sitting there. The guard was making his way towards us,  so I asked him about it. “Those are your return tickets!” he said, “your in coach B!”  Honestly I felt such a fool and had to apologize profusely to the poor people who must have been convinced I was going to insist on their giving up their seats!  Of course J wouldn’t stop laughing and no doubt will not let me forget that boob in a hurry!  “You go in like a bull in a china shop Mum!” he stated.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

North Bay, Scarborough On arrival at Scarborough, we quickly made our way from the station up to the Castle. It was fairly cloudy still, but the sun kept trying to peep out, and at least it was warm.  Rain had not been forecast. The walk up to the castle gives you a great opportunity to take shots of the North Bay and the walled walk up to the Castle keep. Its quite a steep walk, but very enjoyable. On arrival at the castle, we paid our entrance fee, cheaper because K is an English Heritage member, and then we made our way around all of the WW 2 tents and exhibition which was spread out in the castle grounds.

 One camp was the German  camp and the other the British.  There really was a lot of very interesting things to see, and all of the people taking part in the display were only too happy to tell you all about their uniforms and  what their job would have been during the war, and it was all very informative.  A lady who was dressed as a field nurse showed  us all of the surgeons instruments that would have been used at the front.  We also watched a demonstration showing all of the different uniforms and equipment that each different soldier in both the German army and the British army would have worn and used. They even demonstrated their rifles and guns by shooting a round or two.  It was very loud and K was not amused!  She spent the entire time during  this demonstration with her hands over her ears!

Ready, aim, fire! The fly past by the Dakota bomber was not due to occur until the afternoon, so as it was about lunch time, we decided that we would walk back down the alternative route, taking in St Marys church where Anne Bronte is buried and have something to eat in town, then return back to the Castle for the Battle demonstration and the subsequent fly over of  the Dakota.  J had wanted to watch the Spitfires but they were due to be part of the flyover until the day after.  As we made our way back into town, we passed a newly married couple who wanted their photo taken with two of the soldiers in uniform, so we took a quick snap of the happy couple as well!

The British take the Radar equipment Lunch over, we slowly made our way back the same way and this time we paid a visit to St Marys church as they had a flower arrangement display that day. Following that, we retraced our steps up to the castle. We were just in time for the start of the enactment of Operation Biting  where the British took a very important Radar from the Germans.  It was very thrilling to watch as they took the Germans completely by surprise and although the Germans gathered and retaliated they did capture the radar equipment.  This re-enactment was then followed by the fly past of the Dakota, and we were all waiving like mad at the pilot every time he went over our heads.

He actually flew overhead three times before disappearing into the distance. I was stopped by one of the local newspaper reporters who wanted to ask me some questions about the display and what had I thought of it all, and I willingly answered all his questions. There were obviously quite a few pressmen there, you could tell by their very expensively equipped cameras, and as J had been asking about the lens’s that some of them had, I asked one of them just how much his lens had cost.  Can’t remember just how much he said but it was into the thousands. I felt quite insignificant snapping away with my little Samsung!

The Dakota bomber flies past Following the fly past, we made our way back into the town, this time taking the path which brings you out at the North end where the rides all are. We took a very nice promenade walk along the walkway to the lighthouse. By now I was in my t-shirt as it was quite warm, in fact I hadn’t worn my raincoat for quite some time. Thank goodness for K and her roomy backpack is all I can say!  She manages to stuff sweatshirts, raincoats, drinks, cameras, everything but the kitchen sink, and it certainly comes in handy on our day trips!

Of course before we made our way home, I had to have my obligatory Knickerbocker Glory from the ice cream parlour and K had her usual chocolate sundae.  Then we had a ride up on the cable ride to the top and by this time all the shops were shut.  We had plenty of time before our train was due to depart, so K and J had some tea in McDonalds  (I didn’t feel hungry, but K gave me some of her chips and a bite of her McChicken sandwich, J on the other hand gave me nothing, smile_omg) then we slowly made our way back to the station feeling a little bit footsore by now!   Hmm, we must have walked about six miles in total today I thought to myself as we sat down on the platform bench to wait for our trains arrival.  Whilst at the WW2 display, we had bought a bottle of blackberry wine to share on the journey home, and it really made an enjoyable end to a perfect day, in fact, K and I became quite giggly!

“We’ll certainly sleep well tonight!” I said to K as we piled into bed after landing home, and we did!  My head hadn’t hit the pillow before I was asleep.  A perfect day out.  Full album below.

TG

Went to the Fortune Teller……

Yesterday we had another really cram packed day. It was the day of the  CREW Spring Fayre, and one of our members G is a Psychic reader. He also tells you your fortune via Tarot Cards, reading your Palm and he is also  a Reiki Master Healer. For the Spring Fayre, G was conducting Tarot Card readings for £10.

Tarot Cards I have never had my fortune told. I have always wanted to have my fortune told, so I booked a Tarot reading with G for 13.00pm. I was a little sceptical for many reasons, and not because I don’t believe in such things, but more because he doesn’t look like anything you imagine as being a Spiritual person. In fact reading his bio on the flyer afterwards, he has been on the radio and television and studied at the College of Psychic Studies in Kensington.

He admitted to me that he had ‘formed an opinion’ about me from meeting me in the exercise classes. He held in his hand a crystal. He asked me to shuffle the Tarot cards. They were rather too large for my hands. Then he dealt them out in groups of three, some down one side, some down the other and some in the middle.

Then he proceeded to tell me about my past, my present and finally my future. He described what type of person I am, that I have had an unhappy life in the past, that I am strong and a fighter, that there have been many things that I could have done but for one reason or another didn’t manage to do, that he could see me as a supervisor or a manager, and regarding the future, that I should do what my instincts tell me to do and follow it through as I will make a big success out of it.

tarot cards 2 I have missed opportunities because I put others first, (he did say I needed to ‘do my own thing, and go my own way’.)  He also hinted of another relationship in the future. He admitted that the persona he had imagined I was from the exercise classes was nothing like the persona that he now saw in the Tarot cards, and he was genuinely surprised at this. All he told me was exactly right. His advice to me is to forget the past, stop living in it, move on to a new bright future where I have to take those opportunities and do those things that I want to do, and carry out my ideas because I will be successful.

He also noted that I am generous, a family person, and that I love to help others. All in all, I was very impressed and actually I might ask him to read my palm as well at some later time.

K had to sample the barbeque of course and had a burger, she also had a go at hooking the shark where she won some sweets which she promptly gave away again to A for her children, then we had to leave in order to dash over to Leeds Railway station (I am seriously considering K and I set up a tent complete with sleeping bags on platform 12) where I booked my tickets for my forthcoming planned  trip up to Scotland for my eldest sons 40th birthday.

I will be up there just for the weekend unfortunately, as he returns to work on the Tuesday, and so he would not be available to take me to the station in Glasgow and it is a fair distance from where they live.  K will be in respite that week, and I will be catching the through train from Leeds to Glasgow (which ironically will have come from Penzance, talk about rubbing my nose into it!) Sad and  I will then return on the Monday.  I would have liked to have stayed until Wednesday, but there you go, beggars can’t be choosers.

TG  I dont know So another dashing all over Yorkshire day! Oh and my bag strap broke AGAIN! Will have to look for another one as this is the third time now, and I am getting really rather fed up with it. What is it with me and bags?

Our new Bus Station……..it’s officially open!

Our new bus station is now officially open!  It opened this Sunday 11th May. Those horrible temporary stands that we all shivered beneath this winter  have now been demolished as well and everything’s back to normal……….or is it?   You must be all dying to know whether or not we long suffering passengers were all invited to a slap up party with wine, buffet, and showered with gifts to thank us all for enduring the worst winter for 15 years in those measly open temporary shelters?  Did the Metro management come and shake our hands whilst presenting our oldest and frailest residents with diplomas for surviving it all without dying of Hyperthermia?  And more importantly, were we all thanked for surviving eight  whole months of that ‘trumped up, bullying, full of himself’ idiot that they put in charge of ‘helping passengers during the changes’’ but who did nothing of the sort, instead just spending the entire time bellowing at anyone who dared to run across the road at the wrong place when their bus was in and ready to set off without them?  Was any public acknowledgement made to any of us about how patient and tolerant we had all been during the upheaval?  Well?  Read on dear readers, read on!

K and I didn’t even bother to attend the ‘official opening’ so disgusted and annoyed are we at the entire monstrosity that has emerged as our lovely little towns new Bus station.  Children are now asking their mothers if they can go for a ride on it. yes I did say ON IT.   Travel through our town via the dual carriageway and you could be forgiven for thinking you were passing  Blackpool pleasure beach.  But all this would be forgiven if the end result had the passengers welfare and well being at its heart.

The younger end have resorted to sitting on the windowsills For example, does it  contain in its capacious spacial interior any toilets in case a passenger needs to urgently relieve themselves as they wait patiently for their bus?  Answer in one word, NO.  We are obviously not deemed worthy of such consideration of our personal needs. There are two ‘mysterious’ rooms at the far end, but what they are for we can only hazard a guess.  Probably as a recovery room for passengers awaiting the ambulance as they faint from heat exhaustion. (for full explanation of this remark, read on)  There will also have to be a resident nurse installed in there in a few weeks time for the same reason.  But the biggest gripe for the poor long suffering bus users of this little town is this, that the whole building, huge and long as it is provides just fifteen seats in total. Yes folks, you read that correctly, 15 seats in the whole bus station!  In the top half we have a total of nine, three alongside three separate stands, and in the lower half, the poor passengers waiting at the two remaining stands have been provided with just a total of six.

Now I know that probably the average height of residents in this small town might be said to be slightly smaller than the rest of the  country’s average height, but honestly!  I don’t know how many millions this Bus Station has cost in total, but 15 seats!  Told you the planner had it in for someone who lives here in our town didn’t I?   So now we are all stood moaning and complaining about the lack of provided seats and all that wasted space. (well that is if someone has beaten you to the three seats available at your particular stand, and already if you happen to be lucky enough to bag a seat, you are on the receiving end of some rather nasty looks)  I’m surprised that fights haven’t already broken out amongst the older generation!

Just six seats in total this end, and the mysterious red doors On enquiring of the resident ‘know it all supervisors’  as to why we have only been provided with the barest minimum of seating, we are told that they couldn’t afford to put anymore in!  ( Yes dear readers, HE is still here unfortunately, pacing up and down taking great delight in not only bossing us passengers about, but now also directing the bus drivers as to which new stand they should pull in at, and he has been joined by another one who seems to speak an entirely different language to the rest of us as you can’t tell a word he says, so looks like we are lumbered with HIM permanently) 

Luckily so far the younger Bus station users seem to have taken to parking their backsides along the ample window ledges (which luckily are just wide enough for a small backside to park on, but would obviously be no good to us older travellers with much ampler proportions!)  However, whether or not they will be quite happy to continue this mode of seating all through the summer when the windowsills  will no doubt reach temperatures in excess of 150% Fahrenheit is entirely a different matter, and I can visualise some very nasty hospital trips with burnt posteriors taking place shortly.  (The Bus station resident nurse to be will be kept busy no doubt, good job the ambulance station isn’t far away as well!)

I am just waiting for the towns resident skateboarders to move in, I expect them anytime now, as the result of the  ‘can’t afford more than 15 seats’ policy has now left the bus station with huge empty areas just right for some serious skateboarding.  They will probably whizz up and down trying to make the automatic doors at each end open and shut as they whizz past.  And mentioning the windows as I did in the previous paragraph, remember in my post about how we had endured this last freezing winter stood in those open stands?  Sheltering behind one another?  Well guess what?  This summer, which now that we have our new fully enclosed super duper big dipper Bus station, will no doubt turn out to be  the hottest on record ensuring that we will all end up fainting with heat exhaustion!  The  ambulance service might as well be provided with a bay of their own in anticipation of the towns bus passengers suffering heat stoke.  Why?  Because the entire Bus station is entirely all glass from nearly the floor to the very top.  Already it feels like you are stood in a greenhouse and temperatures so far have not really been all that high!  As soon as the sun puts in an appearance the internal temperature soars.

And here is our new Big Dipper! Fancy a ride?

What have we poor residents of this small town done wrong to Metro that we deserve to be plunged from one extreme of temperature to the other?  Why haven’t we been provided with ample seating?  We do have an elderly population here, we aren’t all school age, teen age or middle age?  Is someone trying to completely empty this town of bus users?  If so they are definitely going the right way about it!  So now after surviving the winter, we have to survive the hot house that the Bus station will become this summer.

Hmm. That gives me an idea!   We could grow tomatoes in tubs in the spaces afforded by the ‘let the so and so’s stand ’ policy!   We could turn it into a thriving town business!  There’s certainly room for a couple of stalls in there!   And as the children are all wanting rides on the Bus station roof now, we can charge for that as well!

 

Its nickname by all the local residents?  The Big Dipper, and I don’t think you’ll be at all surprised.  Will we all survive this summer by using it is my main concern.

TG Angry  P.S As an Addendum to this post it cost £2.38 million pounds!