I have been visiting my offspring and grand offspring. Visiting Martha involved multiple trips up and down stairs emptying four six foot high bookcases that were upstairs and then moving them and their contents downstairs to be reloaded. I would complain except she gets the book acquisition and bookcase moving gene from me. Then a train trip from Martha to Rebecca’s. Oooh free wifi – it is a while since I’ve been on a train. Some mechanical fault with my laptop means that it makes a VERY loud, potentially terminal, whirring sound for about ten minutes when I first turn it on. I look round trying to pretend the noise is coming from elsewhere and hoping the train will start soon so that it is less noticeable. Unfortunately, trains have got a lot quieter lately so it doesn’t help much and my 15 minutes of free wifi only just exceeds the time taken for the laptop to cease whirring.
Whilst with Rebecca, we take Lucy to a Christmas wreath making session. She can’t quite manage to make her own sadly but we wreath make away. I have gone for a non-symmetrical rather expansive design. It is much larger in circumference than anyone else’s. Ah, we have to get these wreaths and Lucy in her sling back on the bus mmmm. I give mine a substantial trim but it still isn’t going to be easy. At the bus stop there is a computerised list of when the next buses might arrive and a button inviting us to press for bus information. Thinking that this will revitalise the list we do so. What actually happens is that the bus stop then ‘reads’ the information in embarrassingly loud tones and at great length. As if I wasn’t conspicuous enough with a wreath balanced in each hand. It is also quite difficult to laugh whilst wreath holding.
Time to leave and bad weather means trains are disrupted. The received wisdom is that one can get no further north than Newcastle. That is ok, if I end up in Newcastle I am seriously lost. I manage to negotiate my way across London. I have for some reason not brought luggage with wheels and I also have the full sized laptop as opposed to the netbook. Why? Sorry I have no idea. I think it is called not thinking things through. It is a fair old hike across what purports to be the same station to get from the overground to the circle line but I am in plenty of time and one of the first on the train for Exeter. I do have a reserved seat just as well as the train is packed. I discover that the downside of being early for the train is that my bag, containing food and drink, is now irretrievably buried under a million other bags. In fact there are so many bags that won’t fit on the luggage rack that they are strewn everywhere, causing the automatic doors, by which I am sitting, to be chillily permanently open. I manage to get the last seat on the equally crowded train to Barnstaple. It is mid afternoon so not even remotely rush hour but still there is no room to move. Here I have to balance both my bags on my lap for the whole journey, cutting off all blood supply to my feet. Oh the joys of travelling.
I have done all my Christmas shopping. In fact I am so enthusiastic I seem to have done some of it twice. At least, Amazon have sent it twice – oh drat it is my fault. I investigate the sending thing back because you are an idiot options. The cheapest option is to take it to a collection point – that’s bound to be a million miles from darkest Devon. Actually no, 3 options within 7 miles hurrah.
It is Christmas Puzzle time again. Be ‘entertained’ and frustrated in equal measure, whilst donating to charity at the same time.
More history soon, I promise.