Monday, 27 June 2022

Monday Long Song

Edinburgh Waverley Station, 8.45am June 17th 

The journey back from Blog-Con '22 in Edinburgh the Friday before last began comfortably enough, with temperatures hovering around the 16/17° mark as I made my way to Waverley station for the 9am southbound train. It was difficult in those moments to believe the forecast I was reading on my phone predicting highs of over 30° nearer home. Fortunately though, I did heed the warnings and packed everything possible into my case, wearing only the lightest clothes available for the trip. The first leg was relatively uneventful, save for a rowdy group necking early morning tinnies en route to York races, the views from the train across Berwick and Durham were spectacular and the air conditioning kept things manageable. By the time we rolled into Peterborough though, the aircon was starting to struggle and as I stepped from the train I discovered why - it was beginning to get very warm indeed. My expected 45 minute wait for the connection eventually extended to nearly an hour and when the Norwich bound train finally rolled in I was concerned to see that it consisted of just two carriages, which were already virtually full. The platform was pretty chock-a-block too, so you can probably imagine the chaos that ensued as we tried to board. Long story short by the time I got on it was standing room only - and when I say standing room I mean bodies squashed together standing room, for two hours, in increasingly stifling temperatures. My phone flicked between telling me that it was 32/33° outside, but who knows what it must've been on board. Oh and did I mention that the train was not blessed with aircon, nor windows that opened? 

By the time I disembarked, fell to my knees and kissed the platform at Norwich, I and everyone else in that hellhole of a train were completely soaked through with sweat and gasping for breath. I had a 15 minute uphill walk followed by a 45 minute wait for a bus, both of which were uncomfortable in the conditions, but by then I didn't care. I was just pleased to be outside, free from the combined body odours of a couple of hundred clammy sardines in a can. Our mutual chum C started her own journey south a couple of hours after me and had to travel across London on her way home. I can't begin to imagine what that must've been like. In retrospect we were incredibly lucky with our timing for the glorious bloggers meet-up though, as had it been a week later our plans may well have been scuppered altogether in light of  the RMT industrial action.

Anyway, all that whinging was just an excuse for me to dig out this beauty from the great Junior Murvin, produced by the legendary Lee' Scratch' Perry and featuring a toast from another prominent reggae name, Dillinger, who turned 68 years of age just a couple of days ago.

Junior Murvin - Roots Train


George said...

I will not hear a finer song today. Toptastic!

C said...

A great song for a sunny Monday but your travels sound like Dante's vision of hell! You definitely drew the short straw there, and what a relief it must have been to get home and pour yourself a cold beer. In spite of going through London, my journey was nowhere near as horrendous. The tube was incredibly quiet. My penultimate overground train broke down a couple of stops before mine, but I didn't have to wait too long for another one, and had a seat to myself when it arrived. I don't think I would've coped very well with what you went through... I'd probably still be there, just a little pool of sludge on the train floor!
So glad you got back in one piece after all that.

Charity Chic said...

It was raining when we got back to Glasgow!

Rol said...

Blimey, Swede, that sounds like my idea of hell. (The train, not Junior Murvin.)

The Swede said...

George: Glad you enjoyed it. I'm pretty sure I didn't hear a better song myself on the day I posted it.

C: That two hour bit of the journey was truly awful, but hey, at least I got an £8.50 refund because the train was running late! No refund for lack of breathable oxygen though unfortunately. I'm glad to hear that your own journey home was comparatively uneventful.

CC: Thanks mate, rub it in!

Rol: It was hell, believe me!

Anonymous said...

Crikey, that really does sound like hell - what a relief to eventually get home and open a cool can of something.

Lots of positives though, our timing was such we avoided the rail strikes, we chose a location that was not suffering 33 degree temperatures and CC kept the rain to his side of Scotland.

Also, great song choice. Alyson

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