A weeks holiday had dulled the daily mindf*ck that is the Chiltern Railway alledged timetable. This morning though they made up for lost time by suffixing a passengerless train blasting through the station with the announcement that the next service is cancelled due to a shortage of drivers”. Or possibly shortness of drivers. Can’t they use a cushion or something?
When a train felt able to stop at our station, it was on the understanding that it’d had somehow shed the majority of its’ carriages on the epic three mile journey from the Aylesbury depot. Our extended journey to the capital put me in mind of those first world war pictures showing weary soldiers crammed into slam door trains on their way to France. Only with more crowding and a smoking ban.
We fooled even the old station hands at Marylebone as the entire population of the south east exited on platform 4. They must be going round again” a Butlin’d uniformed railway service operative” muttered, with the platform disappearing under an angry mob of aggressive briefcases and irritated overcoats. I went bike hunting which occupied five spare minutes I didn’t really have but that’s the price of early onset Alzheimer’s and a bike the same colour of the platform. Having finally located said steed, a further ten minutes frustration and advanced stupidity failed to crack the complex code of a single lock key. This new German lock (Abus) was clearly keen to dig in to secure it’s position on this latter day Hindenburg Line and even the magic opening phrase willyoujustfuckingletmein” failed to shift it.
Entire epochs passed before the realisation that my key ring holds two Abus keys finally dawned. Obviously I’d got the wrong one; less obviously I’d failed to check my key ring instead engaging single tasking bloke mode and stuffing the wrong key harder and harder into the lock.
It’s a skill there’s no doubt about that.
If this wasn’t enough “ and after a weeks holiday and a shrivellingly cold commute, it really was “ they’ve only gone and changed the bloody milk shakes. Yes, I can see you shaking your heads in disbelief that the one small station based pleasure has been ruthlessly snatched away from me without even the slightest consultation. Ever since my rigorous health regime of a single milkshake per week, I’ve had a sad but serious Pavlovion longing for sugary based milk product. After a ˜fitness curry’ [we left the after eight mint] with a mate, I arrived in good time to indulge in a Strawberry Milkshake desert.
We don’t do Strawberry anymore sir”
Why the hell not?”
Nobody wanted it”
See this body? It wants it”
Sorry sir, you can have hint of apricot or noisette of lamb instead”
[So gasted was my flab, I may have misheard that]
Rather than removing my custom and starting a platform based campaign to reinstate the much missed Strawberry Milkshake, I grumbling settled for ˜Wild Cherry”
Predictably it was bloody horrible. It tasted almost healthy for Gods Sake! If I hadn’t paid for it with my own money, I’d never have finished it. Honestly, it was that bad.
The tourists are back and just as airheaded as before. The blossom is on the trees and spring is nervously pushing back winter’s bleak curtain. I just knew things were going too well.
Apricot milkshakes I ask you? Surely there is someone I can sue?