Yes, We Have No Trains.

Well, it has only taken three days for the public transport network to let me down.  This morning the 0625 Glasgow train was cancelled for reasons unexplained by the metallic voice from the tannoy.  The next train I can get to Ivybridge doesn’t leave Plymouth until 0809.  Which, considering I am supposed to be at work for 0730,  is causing me a slight headache.

I might have to try the bus tomorrow…

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Trains, Pains, and Automobiles…

It appears that my poor little car is buggered.  The mechanic has suggested it might be worth the gamble of spending £70-£100 replacing the belt, but apparently it is quite common when a cambelt goes for further work to be required on valves and pistons, which could cost about £500 or more.  Considering that the car has just had a new exhaust fitted, and is probably only worth £500 or so anyway, I am disinclined to spend more money fixing the thing.  Money, this month in particular, is something I just do not have.

This creates for me a bit of a pain, namely with regard to getting to and from work.  Yesterday I got a lift to Newton Ferrers from a colleague.  On finishing my shift I decided to walk to Brixton, a stroll of about 4/5 miles, and then catch a bus.  The walk took a little over an hour, all uphill, and the bus cost me £3.90!

Today I am working in Ivybridge.  The first train direct from Plymouth was at 0809, arriving at 0824.  Sadly for me I had to be at work by 0730.  So this meant catching the 0625 train for Glasgow, and changing at Totnes for a connection which got me into Ivybridge for 0724.  A journey of just about an hour!  I finish at 4 tonight, so it is anyone’s guess what time I shall get home tonight….?

Wish me luck.  The rest of this month I am going to need it.

Life Blues – A Perspective.

It was my intention last night to write a drunken ranting blog post about the vagaries of my day, and about how nothing seems to be going right.  I was going to be cursing my luck, cursing the gods, cursing fate, and just cursing in general.  But something happened on the way home from the pub last night that made me think again.  I stopped and chatted to a homeless chap and remembered all my problems are not actually that bad when put into some perspective.

I was a wee bit drunk as I staggered home last night.  It had been a long day, or a “cunting shitfuck motherfucker of a day” as I had posted on Facebook earlier in the evening.  The primary problem was the car breaking down, and this was compounded by the fact it happened on the road between Totnes and Dartmouth, which is almost the middle of nowhere.  And of course I don’t have breakdown cover…

I was supposed to be in Dartmouth to do a job for a guy, and I had to phone him and ask if he would come and pick me up, and possibly help tow the car back to Plymouth.  He agreed to do that once I’d sorted his boiler.  By the time we got back to the car it was maybe 6 hours later, and the hazard lights, on all that time, had drained the battery.  This meant it would be difficult to break and steer while being towed.  Still, that didn’t turn out to be a problem as the steel tow cable snapped after about 100 yards!  I came back to Plymouth car-less last night, leaving my poor wee motor to be recovered today.  At the cost of £70.  God knows what it’s going to cost to fix the car.  Or even if it can be fixed.  One mate tentatively suggested it might be the cambelt, and it might be a scrappage job!  Eek!

I was already going to be on a very tight budget this month, so as you can imagine I was a little upset by these developments.  Hence my desire for a rare beer, and my intention to rant about it last night.

I bumped into ‘James’ outside the Spar on North Hill in Plymouth.  He was sitting huddled against a wall, looking cold, miserable, and hungry.  Before I went into the shop, I fished out the shrapnel from my pocket, and told him to get himself something to eat.  In a further act of drunken compassion, while in the shop I decided to buy him a hot sausage roll.  As I handed it to him outside the shop, he said “no thanks, I’m a vegetarian”.  Which just seemed to sum up how my day was going.  So I went back into the Spar and got him a cheese and tomato sandwich.

I sat with him for 10 minutes as he ate, hungrily.  James was from Plymouth, and he had been on the streets for at least ten years, since both his parents had died.  He indicated that he had been through some unpleasant experiences, and that possibly accounted for for what seemed to me his rather nervous and skittish appearance.  Or maybe he just wasn’t used to loud and slightly intoxicated Scotsmen being nice to him.  Who knows?

Anyway, I came away from this encounter cursing my luck a little less than I had been.   My luck is not as bad as James’.  Or of countless people like him.

Trainspotting.

While I was out having a wee walk this morning, I came across a dozen or so train-spotters.  This is what they were waiting on.   Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Royal Duchy, no. 70013.

The Royal Duchy, No. 70013