Metro 174

My attempt to treat my wife to a relaxing spa weekend was a disaster. As I’ve already recounted we were tired, late, I left the baby in the car and then we were falsely accused of flushing nappies down the hotel loo.

Could we rescue things on the Sunday? Of course not.

Our baby didn’t like being in an unfamiliar room and consequently none of us got much sleep. In the morning tempers were so short that you’d have needed an electron microscope to see them.

We were too exhausted to enjoy the hotel and had to deal with a grumpy baby (arguably my wife had to deal with two). They were getting the afternoon train home whilst I stayed in town for a gig and finally we managed to rouse ourselves into action. I suggested we cut our losses, walk into town (the hotel was out in the countryside) and have a look around. It wasn’t much, but at least we’d have achieved something.

Foolishly I had assumed that the train station would be in the town centre, but as we set off I realised it was in the other direction. It was a 15-minute walk from the hotel and two miles from the place it was named for. Could I be blamed for this poor town planning? I have a feeling my wife thought so.

Surely we could pop into the station café or a pub. No we couldn’t. There was nothing nearby. They didn’t even have a toilet. Of course my wife really needed the toilet.

As there was a train due in five minutes we agreed that the best course of action would be for them to get on it, go home and try and forget this weekend had ever happened. It was going to be an anticlimactic ending to the dampest ever squib of a mini break. 

I checked the screen and led my family to platform 3. There were long staircases down to all the platforms and the train was imminent so we had to carry the pram down between us with our thankfully sleeping daughter (oh yeah, have a sleep now, you dick). In our frazzled rush, our attempts to get the buggy down the steps resembled Laurel and Hardy in Battleship Potemkin (I like to keep my film references current).

The train was pulling in. Finally some luck. Except I’d misread the screen. The London train was on platform 5 and was just pulling out. If I could just have done a Captain Oates.

Perhaps I couldn’t reasonably have predicted that the train station was not in town, or that it would have no facilities of any kind, it was possibly my fault that we were on the wrong platform. Would we sit here and wait an hour for the next one, with my wife holding her bladder, or were we going to have to walk back to the hotel before almost immediately walking back to the station? Even if we got to the hotel could we be sure we’d find a toilet that wasn’t blocked? Sadly there was no option.

There was a bit of a frosty silence as we trudged back to the hotel. I told my wife that we had to stay positive and we should laugh at this. She didn’t seem in the mood to laugh.

I told her we would find it all funny one day. A month has passed and that day has not yet arrived.

Next time I treat my wife to a mini-break I will do it properly and send her on her own.


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Good to see the Liberal Democrats sticking with the winning formula of red-haired, white, male leader. If it ain’t broke. Even Doctor Who changes his hair when he regenerates. C’mon Liberals, give another hair colour a go. I am not advising you to take the crazy decision of going for a different sex or race. Branch out a bit. Maybe a formerly red-haired, white-haired white man next?