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Another amazing journey

Returning from Worcester was another amazing journey, although "amazing" in a slightly different way. My friend couldn't make it from Oxfordshire; he lives in the country and was completely snowed in. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because there were some travel "issues".

On the 6th (my non-traveling day), there was a trivial amount of snow[1] and massive panic. Schools closed, trains cancelled, at least one airport closed entirely (?!?), etc. It was about 8cm in Worcester, which everybody was saying was the most in fifteen or twenty years. Other places got as much as 25cm.

As a Canadian, I was torn. On one hand, I was very smug about my snow-superiority. On the other hand, being from Vancouver, I know that even a light dusting of snow can be fatal for unprepared drivers, and England seems even less prepared for snow than an average Vancouverite. And I know that although I'd have no problem with this amount of snow in my mother's car, that car was specially bought to handle snow... and in any case, the problem is never the snow itself; the problem is the other drivers in the snow. On a third hand, I was extremely smug about my power over the weather (just before going to Singapore, Vancouver had the most snow in 10 or 15 years -- clearly the weather gives me what I pine for!). On the fourth hand, I am a Canadian, so I'm compelled to apologize for causing a disturbance. Regardless of whether or not it's actually my fault.


I should be going to the university soon, so I'll do points for the rest.

  • Still disruptions today (Jan 7), despite having no new snow. Travel restrictions on tickets (i.e. advance tickets must be for specific trains) lifted, so I can start my journey home earlier.
  • Left worcester 13:23.
  • Arrived birmingham 14:09 -- yes, it's a slow train.
  • Got a sandwich and "2 for 2" deal on 500ml diet coke, drank it all. I expected to save one for the train later on, but nope, I finished off 1 litre of coke in ten minutes. I guess I was really thirsty.
  • Scheduled 15:20 glasgow was cancelled. :(
  • No waiting rooms, no heating. Pay toilets for 30 pence, went 3 times because of the litre of drink. Also, they had a radiator in there.
  • Found a new terry pratchett book in the bookstore! Unfortunately, it's not a discworld book. I was getting bored of my laptop (it's also not comfortable for 3 hours of sitting on an almost-freezing stone floor).
  • Could have gotten 16:20 edingburough and changed at preston, but that train was 20 minutes late anyway, so I didn't hop on.
  • Got on the 17:20 Glasgow train. Still in good spirits; it's an adventure.
  • Train fairly full for 15 minutes until Wolverhampton, then was 20% full. Power, space, good voyage.
  • After Carlisle, 10% full. I guess I can't blame them for cancelling the earlier train.
  • Stopped a few times (not at stations) due to signalling problems.
  • Curled up, put my jacket over me, and dozed. I figure that if my cat could sleep somewhere all sprawled out, it should be big enough for me to sleep curled up. Yes, I managed to find a sleeping position on the two seats on a Virgin rail train.
  • 40 minutes late arriving at Glasgow.
  • Nice jog/walk home. Air was crisp, but after jogging for a while and getting the blood flowing, it wasn't cold. One part of the Clyde even had ice over it, although it didn't look thick enough to walk ok. A few hundred meters later, it wasn't frozen at all.
  • Got home at about 20:30, after a 30-minute jog/walk. It was awkward jogging with my thick jacket, backpack, shoulder bag, and I was really thirsty, so I didn't push myself.

Final touch: I cut myself on my chair. No, that's not a typo. I had my shoes and socks off, and yanked the chair towards me (turning as I did, to sit down), and one of the legs (it's a roller chair) hit my right ankle. And apparently the construction of the chair left some sharp edges in the plastic; it took two minutes for the bleeding to stop. After that, I tried to keep it elevated, but the back of your ankle is an awkward thing to have elevated... if it was on a toe, that'd be trivial, but I had to bend my leg around and stick it on my bed. Oh well.

I'm sure that a normal British person would be complaining about that train journey, but I honestly don't mind. Trains are a novelty, it was an adventure... in some ways, I was even hoping for a trip with delays and cancellations. I mean, that's part of the British rail experience, right? I'd have felt ripped off if my journey home had been as smooth as the journey down there.

Oh, and for the final final note: Glasgow definitely feels like my home now. I had the same feeling about Victoria... it became my home when I returned from being away.