We left Bristol on an emergency fill-in train heading for Bath Spa. The toilets on the train were much nicer than the ones at Bristol Station. Having a rather toilet-focussed weekend as a result of running out of my hi-tech tampons (masterpieces of modern efficient design) and having to buy 5-year-old regular applicator tampax at gougy prices from a corner shop. It's like being 17 again, lurching between toilets spouting blood and swearing. Off the train at Bath Spa and onto a bloody bus that lurches out of town and up the motorway and eventually spills us out in Swindon during a torrential rainstorm (hahaha -- I'm using a trendy shoe box as a comics carrying case -- I'm such a fucking idiot) where we locate the staff member who can tell us that what train we need for the next leg. It's an hour's wait so we buy weak coffee and powefully-flavoured pretzels and read more comics in shivery drafts. When the train drifts towards fifteen minutes late, the comics and pretzels cease to console me. The train eventually limps into the station; it's packed to the gills with football fans tossing back British Rail lager and reading news of the world. At least my hair is the right colour (blue) and whatever the result was it hasn't resulted in rage, despair or elation (nil-nil draw perhaps) so our chances of escaping physically unscathed seem high. The emotional damage may take longer to heal. We struggle off at Didcot Parkway (fortunately, none of the footy fans are going our way) and find -- yes! -- it's only a fifteen minute wait for the train to Great Malvern, which will get us home in a one-stop-hop. I pass the time complaining about trains, football fans, football in general, tabloids, litter, station cafes and anything else that occurs to me while scraping pictures on the smooth paving stones at the edge of the platform using a piece of sharpish gravel to lift the top layer of polllutants. It's rough on the fingers but makes me feel better.
There are seats in this train, without people on them already so we can actually sit down, and read more comics (there are so many of them!) only slightly grit-irritated by the party of lager-swilling teenage gits in the next bay along (christ, haven't I had my quota of wankers and trolls for one weekend?) who unfortunanetly are also getting off at Oxford (should have guessed from the expensive hair) so I have to step on sharpish when they walk into the back of me complaining about them.
But then I get home, and that's much better, despite the soggy smell from whatever's happening underneath the washing machine. Watch Shock Video and slump on the bed. Now I feel sick from eating (too much) Chinese food and I'd like to have a bath in Precious Time (pachouli, ylang ylang and sparkly gold bits) but I'm afraid to immerse myself in water so soon after I ate.
But that's a lot less annoying than trying to take the train from Bristol to Oxford.