Sunday, May 25th.
Considering how easy it had been to get to Nottingham, getting home would prove to be a mission as, for some reason, we couldn’t travel directly from Nottingham to St. Pancras, although we had done the reverse the day before.
Instead, we had to catch an East Midlands train to Skegness and change at Grantham. As we boarded the 14:03 train to Skegness, Erin suddenly announced that she needed the toilet. A quick look along the four carriages informed us that this little train had no conveniences. A look at Erin told us that she wouldn’t be able to hold it until Grantham.
Now, anyone who has ever been to Nottingham Station, and had to catch a Skegness train, you will know that it usually leaves from platform 2, which is the furthest platform from the toilets. Typical.
So I had to run, while carrying Erin, back along almost the full length of the platform, to take her to the toilet. Then, when she had finished, I had to run all way back to the train, arriving one minute before it was due to pull-away. Keilyn was oblivious to the fact that her dad and sister were nearly left behind, as she was fast asleep in the battlewagon. Forty minutes later we arrived in Grantham.
Grantham lies in Lincolnshire and is famous for having the first female police officers in the world, after London. The RAF Bomber Command’s No.5 Group and the Operations HQ were based there, which organised the Dambusters Raid, of May 1943, among others. Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris also lived in Grantham, for a while. The Beehive pub has the country’s only ‘living’ public house sign: A beehive of South African bees, situated directly outside the pub, since 1830. Isaac Newton went to school in Grantham and it is where Margaret Thatcher was born.
Due to ‘problems with the overhead power lines’ (read, due to some ethnic group stealing the overhead power lines) our connecting East Coast train at Grantham was delayed by about ten minutes. When the train did finally arrive, we clambered on, having already collapsed the battlewagon, and looked for our reserved seats. As it turned out, a young student couple had decided to take them. After getting them to move we settled in to our seats. Once again it wasn’t long before Keilyn was asleep in my arms and Erin was watching Cbeebies, before needing the toilet, again. Emma and I are both convinced that anywhere that you take Erin, she will say that she needs the toilet, just to check out the cleaning facilities.
Sure enough, not long into our journey, the message came over the speaker that there were ‘problems with the overhead power lines’ just south of Stevenage. Thieving b*s*a*ds! Because of this our train was diverted on to the Hertford Line, aka the Hertford Loop, where we got stuck behind a First Capital Connect train, that obviously had to stop at every station. Not once did anyone at Network Rail, or whoever it is that checks these things, decide to have the slower train pulled into a siding, so that we could pass? No. We just dawdled along, adding an extra half-an-hour to our journey.
Eventually, though, we did arrive at London’s King’s Cross station. We waited, on the platform,for the other passengers to clear through the gates, before heading out into the afternoon sun ourselves. With Keilyn strapped back into the battlewagon, Erin helped me with the suitcase, as we took a low stroll to London Euston. After a quick check of the train departure times, we went back out to the plaza and had a bite to eat.
When we did head back in to the station, we discovered that the arrival and departure times were all wrong, due to ‘problems with overhead power lines’. I am saying nothing. With time getting on, and the London Overground being suspended due to engineering works, we boarded a packed London Midland train to Watford Junction. Within twenty minutes we arrived and promptly jumped into the back of a black taxi, on our final leg home.
The journey must have taken it out of the girls, as there was no whining or playing about, when we got home. We put Sofia the First on the TV, while we got them changed, and then they went straight to bed. After something to eat, Emma and I were not far behind, either.
All in all it was a great but long, weekend.
May It Be Well With You.