Last of summer

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Catching up with my uni girls

On Saturday I went to Birmingham for Laura and Rob’s end of summer barbeque. I’d been into town in the morning and ended up very cold indeed, so changed into tights and boots for an evening stood outside… Here’s what I wore:

BBQ

See, autumn has well and truly arrived! We had a lovely evening, delicious food stuffs (I force fed tomato cake to everyone 😀 ) followed by a tasty breakfast on Sunday morning. After breakfast I went round to Nat and Steve’s to poke around my stuff in the attic, filled Steve’s pull-along suitcase with belongings and, pooh-poohing Nat’s concerned “Are you sure you can manage that?” with “It’s easy – once I’m on the train it’s just the one change and I’m home!”, marched off towards the station…

This was where the fun started. Because when I got to the station I discovered that the trains? Weren’t running. The surly lad in the ticket office pointed me toward the main street and told me to get “any bus going that way” (with a general shrug which could technically have pointed in either direction), so I dragged myself and my case around and flagged down the first bus that came along.

“Yes, babs!” brummied the bus driver.
“Ummm, wherever’s nearest New Street station?!” I said uncertainly, looking as apologetic as I could.
“That’ll be Upper Bull Street. Last stop. £1.70.” he replied with a grin.
I dropped my £2 coin in the slot and stood there gormlessly.
“Tickets come out over there, babs,” grinned the bus driver, as a frail-looking little old lady got up and pulled out my ticket for me.

How useless did I feel?!

Upper Bull Street, it turns out, is really close to New Street Station. As long as, when you get off the bus you turn right. That is to say, not left, like I did, because, well, I wasn’t sure where I was, but had seen a part of town I recognised a street or so back. So, I pulled my getting-heavier-by-the-second case of junk back towards Corporation Street, then turned right, down passed Rackhams House of Fraser towards the station. It was just passed Rackhams House of Fraser that I realised my mistake and cursed myself for being so flaming useless, but by then there was little I could do… I dragged myself and my bag through the Pallisades and down the escalator, saw that a train was leaving in 4 minutes and came as close as I ever do to “legging it” to the platform.

But, of course, the London Midland trains weren’t running. So everyone heading in my direction was having to get on the Virgin Bournemouth service. Naturally I ended up in my default train spot, wedged in a corner of the vestibule. I did eventually get back to Leamington, and my usual 15 minute walk home took a decidedly lovely 40 minutes, what with me having to swap arms every 5 paces, and pull my coat out from where it had bunched up under my handbag in between times…

Still, it was all made better in the end, as I was cooked a delicious Sunday roast by Lauren, eaten at their new dining table and followed by fresh scones with clotted cream and jam. And food like that wipes out any and all bad memories in my book! 😀

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