Okay, so that took longer than expected

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It’s funny, really. I mean, I knew, factually that my train in the morning left at 0945 and that my train home arrived at 2030. I knew that at each end there’s a good 45 minute walk (it’s 2 miles to the station from our house, and I’m not particularly fit). I knew that, because of the timings of the appointments, my entire day basically revolves around a 5 minute injection in a clinic in Guy’s Hospital, and that however I work it, unless I get an insanely early train (and an expensive one) to London, I’m not actually going to get to spend much time anywhere.

Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of FirstGreatWestern, the train pulled into Parkway just in time to watch the London express I was *meant* to be sat on, in my nice reserved seat, pulling away. The doors on my train actually opened as the doors on the other train shushed shut and the whistle was blown signalling its departure.

Then when I got to London I made a foolish error, and ended up at the wrong station. Since I’d planned to go to the rather nice market right by Guy’s Hospital, I had plenty of time, and headed instead to the National Gallery, which was conveniently near my incorrect location…. The only teeny tiny problem was that by the time I’d got there, and used the loo (important given the dearth of public loos in London), it was pretty much time for me to go. I managed about half an hour of poking around (which was fine, I saw the interesting exhibit of early American painters).

Unfortunately, what I’d forgotten, which is funny because it upset me last time, is that the market days are, well, entirely not Mondays. Mondays are very definitely ‘oh look it’s closed’ days. Given my cunning plan was to buy lunch there, this placed a moderate sized crimp in my day. I started to feel a wee bit grumpy (to put it mildly), instead of a nice morning touring the V&A, or at least a little bit of it, I’d instead had 30 minutes in the National Gallery, thanks to a combination of my ineptitude and good old First Great Western. However, a very nice lunch from a little cafe, which was I’ll grant a touch overpriced, but was very tasty restored my spirits, and I sallied forth to be jabbed with pollen.

The entire point of these jaunty little trips to London is to get my seasonal rhinitis (hayfever) under control, because in addition to my allergic rhinitis (I’m probably allergic to the medication I take) the combination makes summer an itchy scratchy festival of sneezing and crying mournfully about the lack of availability of sleep.

The jab itself lasts a mere few seconds, the actual time spent with the nurse, mere minutes, but you have to sit for an hour and be ‘observed’. This, in general, occurs sometime around 2 – 3pm. Which means the best you can hope for is escape at around 1600. Which is a bit cack, if you can’t get to London until 11. Anyhow.

I slipped out after my hour, and attempted to find out where Paul A Young (Chocolatier) is, or more accurately, their opening hours. This was made more challenging by the fact that Orange’s 3G signal in London is somewhat absent. I wandered around like some Tricorder wielding Star Trek extra doing the signal hunt. Eventually I settled on walking back to the cafe where I’d eaten lunch, because I’d intermittently had a signal there. Having failed to get one, I sighed, and wandered down into London Bridge station where, randomly, and for but a few moments I had sufficient 3G lovin’ to discover that the branch of Paul A Young, Chocolatier, in Islington to which I was planning to head was… Closed on Mondays. I nearly wept, openly, there and then. My plan to return home with exciting Belgian Fruit Beers, which I love so dearly after our delightful holiday in Belgium; and also with the best-damn-chocolate-in-the-World (at least, certainly the best I’ve ever tasted); was lying in ruins.

And then another brief moment of 3G signal sufficency allowed me to discover that the other branch, the one which just sells the fine, fine chocolatey goodness; that was open on Mondays, and until some reasonable hour. I faffed about finding the nearest station that I could conveniently get to, and hopping aboard a conveniently trainlike train, headed to the Royal Exchange.

I had not realised how bitter and twisted I am about the ‘Banking Industry’ until I was walking through some of it, and noting it’s unpleasantly opulent nature, and considering that they fucked the entire world, not for world domination, oh no. For something far more tacky, money. And now the same shits have got their pet government elected, so as to protect their nasty little piles of cash from the people they stole it from.

Reminded me of hackers, it did, my little rant as I wandered around.

“But for what, you ask? World domination? Nay. Something far more tacky…What could be so vitally important to protect that someone would create such a nasty, antisocial, very uncool … program?”

Ah well. I’m hoping and praying that this is the death throes of the capitalist model. It isn’t, I know, but I comfort myself with that thought.

Anyhow, eventually I made it to the chocolatiers, and bought more chocolate than I should, then to the Science Museum where I gazed happily at ERNIE and snapped pictures just before closing time, and finally headed back to the station.

And then I wandered home… and it’s suddenly been a very long day.

And I’m really not looking forward to next week’s intra-night-shift trip to London. The tickets I’ve booked are (a) depressingly expensive and (b) mean that I can get some sleep before hand, hopefully some on the train, some on the way back, and possibly some while I’m there… But I won’t be visiting anywhere…

In other news, we’ve had the second quote in for the garage. We won’t be having a building with a green roof, then. Onduline sheeting, and a cheap timber frame overgrown shed it is.


Kate's a human mostly built out of spite and overcoming transphobia-racism-and-other-bullshit. Although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, it's all good.