The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.
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6:48pm on Monday, 28th March, 2011:
I went to London today. As usual, I went by train.
The first train after the eye-boggling commuter-price window is the 9:12. I duly fought my way through Colchester traffic in time to catch this train. It's made up out of two trains: the first unit arrives at about 9:03, then a second unit joins it at 9:08; then it goes at 9:12. The second unit indeed made multiple attempts to couple to it, bit failed. After a number of jolting shunts, it gave up. The train finally left the station 25 minutes late and half its normal length. That was a crowded journey...
Because of the late train, I arrived 5 minutes late for my appointment.
When it came time to come home, I boarded the 16:40 to Norwich. Cheap day returns from London aren't valid during commuter times, which I was told (when I bought my ticket) meant the last train back I could catch was the 16:32 to Ipswich. On the Norwich train, five minutes before it left, the guard announced that it was the first train for which cheap day returns weren't valid. I got off and ran to the Ipswich train, only to be told by the woman on the barrier that my ticket wasn't valid there, either. I therefore had to make a decision: go pay £14 for an upgrade to my ticket, or get on the train with my old one safe in the knowledge that no-one ever inspects the tickets on that train.
Well, I'm honest so I paid the £14, and sure enough my ticket wasn't checked. It turns out that cheap day returns are invalid for trains that leave Liverpool Street after 16:29. They become valid again at 18:30.
Oh well, if I'd come back on an earlier train I perhaps wouldn't have been given one of the free copies of the East Anglian Daily Times they were handing out at Colchester station. I therefore wouldn't have been reminded as to why I stopped reading it in the 1980s:
There's no comma before that and, either...
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