28 March, 2011

A Little Adventure...

435 to Redhill
So on Sunday, Thomas and I got kicked out of the house by Flyingpops (for simplicity reasons due to extensive cleaning requirements) and decided to pop over to Horsham to see Nanny and Granddad (And "Cat!", And "Dog!", as Thomas pointed out)...

In what should have been a relatively simple exercise - we set off for our exciting adventure, well - just as soon as we had finished watching the F1, anyway - (Thomas practically running out to the pram, ten minutes too early, when he was offered the prospect of seeing a train - reacting like we had just had to explain to him that Santa Claus didn't really exist and he was going to have to sleep in the shed from now on when we asked him to come back inside for just "one minute", requiring we both wrestle him back into the house, fending off flying limbs and Toddler language that would have been unprintable, even had it been comprehensible)...

It all went a bit downhill from there...

First, we discovered that the next available train to Horsham from the train station that we could easily walk to (naturally) was at 6am the following day, so we shrugged and pushed our way to the hospital to try and catch a bus (which was 22 minutes late, and almost completely full by the time it finally wobbled around the roundabout)...then we learned that the fare had gone up by 10 pence so we didn't have the correct change (which was greeted with very little enthusiasm by the designated driver), despite this, Thomas clutched my ticket (apparently for dear life) as I desperately tried to stop his pram falling over while we screeched around the corners nervously singing "The Wheels on the Bus", during which Thomas continuously frowned with ill concealed concern at the peculiar and precarious position in which I had apparently decided to place him (which admittedly bore very little resemblance to the words coming out of my mouth)...
Redhill Bus Station #5
More by luck than anything else, we arrived, slightly ruffled, in Redhill and spent 10 minutes standing behind an elderly gentleman who clearly didn't know how to use the ticket machine (but was trying very hard anyway) he finally gave up, after several rejected offers of help, and walked straight through the open barriers without one (which he could have just done in the first place) we followed suit (with our long-awaited ticket) and then realised that it was going to be impossible to get up to the correct platform from that direction due to the enormous quantity of stairs...so we went back the way we came, crossed back across the road and puffed half way up Redstone Hill to the other entrance, banging noisily on the locked gate to Platform three for five minutes until a sleepy guard appeared to let us in...
Redhill Station Platform
We spent a very happy twenty minutes waiting for our first (and as it happened, only) train, Thomas pointing and shrieking as all the trains we didn't want zoomed merrily past, saying "Train, Useful!" - which, in my experience (at least) they often aren't, however Rev. W. Awdry (and his son, Christopher) appear to have already successfully convinced Thomas otherwise...I'll leave Southern Trains to complete his education on the matter when he is older...

At Gatwick Airport the train absolutely filled up with French people, who all appeared to need the toilet (which we, of course, were blocking with the pushchair), but at least that stopped me managing to change Thomas' nappy in the tiny cubical (I was terribly sad not to be able to avail myself of that opportunity, as you can imagine) and then we disembarked at Three Bridges, only requiring the assistance of three foreigners not to tip Thomas down between the train and the platform, as we hopped lightly out...after we had both calmed down (with the help of a box of sultanas), Thomas politely exclaimed "Bye bye train, bye bye peoples", and gave them all a little wave...

Finding, to my very great relief, after peering down a very long flight of rather dark stairs, that Three Bridges many platforms are accessible via elevator (thanks to a kindly guard), we then discovered (to some, not inconsiderable, dismay) that the reason 40 men in high visibility jackets were standing around supervising one person with a laser spirit level (up above us), was that our onward journey to Horsham was not to be by another train, but by a replacement bus service...to this piece of news, Thomas promptly fell fast asleep, my phone battery died and I spent the rest of the 40 minute journey wishing I had brought any book with me other than "My First Animal Words" (which Thomas hadn't even glanced at)...

It probably would have been easier to QWOP into Mordor (I'll let you Google it)...Lunch was delicious though... ;)

2 comments:

Tom Hopwood said...

Travel eh? such fun. A little stress makes the grub taste better though.
You the daddy mon!

Mum said...

So the car picking you up at Horsham was a blessed relief,even if Bobby did look peeved at sharing the boot with the very large pushchair!