Upfront: I’m a twat

One of the problems with e-mail, blogs and even snail mail is that the longer you leave a response, the more daunting the prospect becomes….so you end up not doing anything ? So what does kick one into action exactly ? Well sadly in this case it’s not because I have something fascinating or incisive to say, but just because I know it will get even worse if I don’t write something.

Anyway, yesterday we were due to be going to a wedding..sort of thing…they’re already married but they got married in India so this was for all of the people who missed it. The celebration is in a place called “Chesham, Bucks”. The word Bucks scares me as it seems like a continent away, but once I noticed it was on the Tube map it didn’t seem so far.

Lesson 1: Just because it’s on the tube map doesn’t mean it isn’t a fucking long way away

We got the maps, directions, train-times and everything ready to go but, fortunately, I developed a major gut-rot and was in no fit state to go on saturday morning. Why would I say “fortunately” ? Surely I’m not that opposed to long journeys ? Read on…
Michele sent an apologetic e-mail to Simon and Laekha explaining the situation….

Later that day they called us to see how I was. “Hows the party going ?” Michele asked. “err…you know it’s tomorrow don’t you” Laekha responded.

Today we did go to Chesham, and it took 3 hours. If I hadn’t had the belly-ache yesterday, we would have done the same tedious journey only to discover bugger all…and then we’d have to do it again the next day. Michele would have, quite justifiably, castrated me under these circumstances because it was I that firmly corrected her when she suggested that the party was sunday not saturday. I truly am a total twat.

Lesson 2: Martin is frequently as wrong as King Wrong

Anyway…Chesham is in Zone D. Yes D. There is a D. It goes 1,2,3,4,5,6,A,B,C,D. The girl at lewisham station (new ticket office – still only one bastard window open) also didn’t know about it either. It turns out that you can’t buy a Zone D Travelcard from a NR(BR) station, only from an Underground station. “But how do I get there ?” I asked. “Well, buy a 6-zone card from here and LT will upgrade it for you [ for the cost of the difference ]” the ticket office helpfully advised.

Lesson 3: Nothing told to you by a connex employee can be considered to be a fact, no matter how confidently they tell you

We got to Charing Cross and I optimistically handed over our 6-zone cards and asked for an upgrade.
“I can’t do that sir, these aren’t LT cards, they’re from BR” the ticket office guy told me. I protested that it even had an LT logo on it but he wouldn’t shift . At that point I came close to breaking down, despairing at how shit and unfair our wonderful 21st century integrated transport system was…”Oh god…” I shouted”…”why…why is it so difficult ? All I wanted was to get from Lewisham to Chesham and I can’t fucking do it ? Jesus why…”
“OK OK I’ll do it for you” the guy interrupted and went ahead and did it…Nice of him, and I should have been grateful I suppose but all I could manage in the way of thanks was “but I really shouldn’t have to be brought this close to tears to get this sorted…”. The guy agreed. Props to the man with common sense..

The icing on the cake was to pick up a copy of a glossy rag called “Upfront: The connex lifestyle magazine” from the train. Lucky because I really need some advice on my lifestyle from connex. It is beyond parody.

Lesson 4: No matter how much of bunch of cunts you think connex are, they are always capable of surprising you by being even worse

So we went there, drank, ate and chatted and then came back. Despite the efforts of Connex and LT we enjoyed ourselves…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Back home now, Humphrey is eeking, I’m still mulling over Orwell’s MI5 list and tomorrow is monday.


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