I recently spent a week working in Bristol.
As usual I travelled by train. Unusually I booked seats in advance.
I arrive at the train station in Slough at 06:40 ... the train is timetabled for 06:49 ... but it’s running late and the TV screen says it’s due at 06:59.
I have to make a connection at Didcot Parkway – but so long as my train is no more than about 15 minutes late I can still do it.
As each minute passes by, the time that my train is expected to arrive drops back by a minute.
“What’s happening with this train?” I ask.
The assistant says “It should be here at 07:02.”
“Nahhh ... “ I say. “It hasn’t set off from Paddington yet has it?”
The man makes a phone call. I can hear the voice at the other end.
“It’s just about to leave Paddington.”
“If I were you I’d get the next train to Reading” says the man.
I arrive at Reading at 07:23.
The train to Bristol is due at 07:27 ... and it’s not going to stop at Didcot Parkway!
I am lulled into a false sense of elation and relief.
At 07:30 the train is expected to arrive at 07:31.
At 07:31 the train is cancelled.
I ask someone if I should get the train to Bristol Parkway and then catch one from there to Bristol Temple Meads.
The train to Bristol Parkway is cancelled as well.
It’s one of those kinds of days!
But it does get better.
The week in Bristol goes well.
Someone tells me I look a lot younger than I am – always a nice thing for anyone over the age of about 20.
On Wednesday night I call in at Debenhams ... the lure is a 20% off almost everything sale. And at last, I find a short black dress that I like!
A nice kind of week in the end.