Posted by: lepages | December 23, 2009

Working from 9 till 5….

A trip down memory lane for those of you old enough to remember the name Sheena Easton!

9 to 5 featured several times in a day which was considerably longer than that!

Last Friday I had a restless night and was awake early, but I had a long day ahead of me – not a 9 to 5 one! But a good day nonetheless! It was the first day of waking to a snow covering outside – not deep and fine taking Helen to work. Wondered whether it would delay the gas man who was coming to fit our new cooker and make some adjustments to our gas piping which was below par – amazingly he arrived early and got everything sorted quickly and efficiently. Time to pop into town, visit the bank and take bags of stuff to the charity shop courtesy of the study clear out session.

When we got home heard that Mum & Dad’s ferry was being delayed so pressure off and able to catch a later train to Weymouth. Popped out for some more shopping after lunch, then home and bite to eat before going to catch a train. My East Midlands train was cancelled. Disappointed by that, but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining… a train to Rochester (didn’t know there were trains to Rochester from Bedford!!) was running late and I was able to catch that… but because it was late they had turned it into a fast train to London St.Pancras – no stops – woo hoo! It was also a new train – everything nice and clean and comfortable – and nearly all the seats around tables – lovely!! Got to St.Pancras only a few minutes behind schedule for East Midlands train. Tubes through to Waterloo were excellent and arrived there in less than half the predicted time, so had time to spare and one of the first on to the train to Weymouth. Long train which was to split in two at Southampton. Am I in the right part was the order of conversation as people sat down (myself included!) We reached the conclusion we were – courtesy of one young guy who did the journey reasonably regularly.

In conversation I discovered that he normally came up to London every fortnight to visit his 5 year old daughter – but he’d been up and down a lot more over the past couple of weeks – his daughter had been badly bitten on the arm by a dog and was having repeated operations to try and put the muscles back together and graft skin – he was just going home overnight to freshen up and sleep before returning the next morning. His daughter was due another operation the next day – you might join me in praying for her and for him in his trauma at a distance.

Arrived at Weymouth at around 9.30pm – pleasant walk from the train station down to the port – no-one around – everywhere locked up – eventually saw signs of life in a back office and managed to raise a response – chap helpful and explained ferry now expected at 10 to 12…. Oh well…. plenty of time to explore Weymouth! Had a good walk along the other side of the harbour, followed by a good wander through the centre of town. Soon after 10 starting to get hungry. Found a fast food van, run by a pleasant east European – opted for my first doner kebab in years – lovely!! Chatting with the proprietor I asked him what hours he did – 9 to 5 he said – but I quickly realised this was 9pm till 5am when the clubs shut up shop – not quite what Sheena imagined I think!

Had pleasant wander around doing some people watching – the stuff folk do for a ‘good time’ is so mad – and of all ages too! About 11pm wandered back to port and out on to pier – no sign of the boat yet – sat down on a bench and chatted with another chap who I surmised was also waiting for someone on the ferry – his father it turned out. Advised him I had been told 11.50 now. He disappeared back to his car then. Wandered again and then back round to where I expected the cars to be coming to. Another lass was dropped off in a taxi to join the wait. Got chatting with her. Turned out she was a radiographer who had travelled up from Exeter by train and was waiting for a friend who now worked as a teacher in Guernsey – and like my Mum & Dad, appreciated some help driving a long journey late at night. She had specialised in breast screening, so it turned out as she told me, that she had a nice regular job hours wise – 9 to 5!! But a different 9 to 5 to the kebab chappie!!

Turned out she had contemplated triathlon in the last year, so as well as talking jobs, training we were also able to chat sport too. Good to spend the time waiting positively and wish each other well as we each awaited the cars we were to drive home. Ferry arrived as predicted and Mum & Dad came through around midnight. Great drive home – did it in just under 4 hours at an average speed of 52mph – best drive from Weymouth to Bedford ever in all the years I’ve done it. Battled the tiredness a couple of times, but a short take over from Mum for 20 minutes or so, a stop at a service station and downing a Lucozade Sport with caffeine boost did the trick and fine for rest of journey. Arrived home soon after 4am – tumbled into bed around 22hours after I got up.

A great day – really enjoyed myself – wandering around Weymouth; chatting with different folk; having time to read and reflect on the train journeys. Scribbled down things I need to address on return from my sabbatical, and also began preparation of a training programme for my triathlon season and gave thought to the events I want to enter during the year ahead… Looking forward to what the return journey brings in 4 days time. But in the meantime, more great time to spend with the family. Great to have Dad & Mum here, and have their help in redecorating our kitchen, lobby and bathroom. Will be finished tomorrow!


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