Yesterday morning I got up at 6am, packed my bags and went off to Newcastle railway station where I met my friend (and boss) Brenda to go to a product launch in Manchester. It was due to start with lunch at 12 midday and to get there on time we were catching the 9.43am to York, changing trains and on to Manchester Piccadilly for 11.45am with a 10 minute walk to the venue. Brenda arrived at the station with 1 minute to spare, and we ran on to the train and off we went. There was a delay at one point, when we slowed down and stopped, which apparently was down to someone falling ill on a train at Northallerton and having to be taken off it in an ambulance, but 5 minutes later we were off again. I didn’t realise Brenda was then panicking that we would miss our connecting train at York, but we got there with 7 minutes to spare. Once we got off the train Brenda charged over to the platform where our train was and chivvied me up, ‘come on come on before they shut the door on us’ she yells, and on we rushed, into a nice empty carriage with tables, and we sat down. ‘What are you panicking about?’ says I, and she told me that on her last trip on a train to London, she got to her changeover train and the guard shut the door just as she got there and wouldn’t let her on. “Can’t have the train being late” he said, “it’s not late” she said “there’s still 2 minutes to go”, “well we are allowed to shut the doors 2 minutes before it’s due to leave” he replied “everybody knows that!” And he would not let her on, so she had to wait for the next train to London, and pay £126 for a ticket, for a journey she’d already paid for. So that was the reason for the panic. The train set off and we got comfortable, and the Captain (? driver/pilot, not sure what they’re called) came over the tannoy, “Good morning, this is the 236 to Newcastle, calling at Darlington, and Durham! We were on the wrong train going back the way we came! It took 45 minutes to get to Darlington, where we got off and went to the travel office to ask what to do. The lady told us we’d have to get on the next train and tell the ticket collector what had happened, and he would then either let us off or we’d have to buy new tickets. When’s the next train we asked, well it’s been cancelled, she said so you’ll have to get on the direct train to Manchester which is with another company and leaves in an hour. So we went and had coffee, and hung around the station until that train came, and then got on that. Now Brenda was certain we’d have to buy new tickets, but when the collector came around I did the googley sorrowful eyes at him, explained what had happened and he let us stay on without buying a new ticket. Of course the barriers in and out of the platform areas are automated and work by wafting your ticket at a sensor, and of course ours wouldn’t work, so we ended up having to explain the thing all over again to get out. Eventually we got to where we were supposed to be, 2 hours late, and stopping off along the walk from the station for Brenda to buy a new top for the evening dinner, as she’d forgotten to pack hers! We had a fab time at the product launch, the company doing it paid for us to stay in a very nice hotel (£235 a night!!!) and took us all out to dinner, and all drinks were paid for the whole night. As there were about 30 of us, it must have run into a few 1000 quid, so I hope they all sell lots of the product. I don’t do sales anymore, but have to know about it all as I do fittings and service work for Brenda so it’s still useful for me to go along. I don’t think we stopped laughing about our journey for hours on and off! On the way back we had a direct train to Newcastle, and got to the platform 10 minutes before it was due, but then it got delayed by 34 minutes due to problems somewhere with the signals, so had to sit in the freezing cold waiting for what seemed like ages. I missed my car a lot!
I used the iPhone a few times along the way,
Newcastle Station, which is quite a beauty
I did take the ball with me, but not too many opportunities to use it, I did one at Darlington station which I wish was a bit better than it turned out, but it’s all I got, so this is Day 334
iPhone shot of the station, another lovely station, that’s Brenda on the left walking ahead
I took a shot of Huddersfield Station as we went through, as this is where I grew up
This was my hotel room
and the mini bar and coffee making machine I couldn’t figure out how to work it, it’s one of those George Clooney nespresso things, half a bottle of champagne, £17.50 ~ needless to say I didn’t avail myself of it!
After the product launch, which was at the top of the hotel, we went onto an outside terrace, and I took a shot looking down through the glass safety barrier
and the sunset over Manchester was spectacular, so it had to be done
and my final shot was my ball shot today, on the way to the station we stopped for a coffee and I took a shot of the Chetham Music College
but I like the sunset shots best 🙂
Now home again, and back to work in the morning! Adventure over for now 🙂 .