I dare say they were both wishing they had never approached me with their expectant clip-boards and eagerly poised pencils. Well, they did ask for it, didn't they? My feedback, that is, on improvements needed at Fareham
Don't get me started! I almost said - but then I reckoned that they had asked, after all, so they were entitled to my opinion. Humble or otherwise.
The two researchers had picked a really bad time to quiz me to be honest. I'd just trailed all the way over the footbridge to Platform 3 to buy myself a regular latte, carried it carefully all the way back again to drink it in the soul-less waiting
room, then visited the Ladies to freshen up only to find it was out of order (it's always out of order) so that I had to make my weary way over to Platform 3 again to avail myself of the facilities in the Disabled Loo. Which appeared to be the only loo in
the whole station which wasn't, well, disabled.
The girl with the clip-board looked meaningfully at her male companion. I guess they had heard this Sorry Saga many times over. The fella gives me a confident
smile and assures me that they (whoever they are - the Loo Leprechauns?) will be attending to the problem imminently. If not, indeed, sooner.
He might have thought he had concluded our discussion somewhat
successfully - but I wasn't finished, oh dear me, no. Whenever I booked tickets to visit my family in Cardiff, I explained, I always sighed the very deepest of sighs if I found I had to change at Fareham. On a day like today, with almost an hour to wait, Fareham
is just about the worst station to be stranded.
Why did Fareham only boast a Cafė Express on Platform 3? Why could there not be a Pumpkin Cafė (other autumnal vegetables also acceptable) with seats and tables
and a chance yo peruse today's newspapers, a pleasant place where one could spend a productive three-quarters of an hour or more with a coffee and a doughnut while writing the Daily Blog? You can provably tell I was warming to my theme.
Mr Clip-board said triumphantly that, if I happened to visit Fareham station in a month or so I would see considerable improvements with a "retail outfit" soon to be incorporated into the waiting room on Platform 2. If he meant "coffee
shop" I wish he'd just said so. But I didn't want to appear even more curmudgeonly than I had already so I told my two inquisitors that I would look forward to that immensely. I promise you I said it with a smile and not a hint of menace in my voice.
An hour later, on board the train and winging my way (metaphorically speaking, trains having wheels rather than wings, don't you know?) I suddenly remembered the last time I was sitting in the waiting room at Fareham
station when a couple of guys came in to discuss possible alterations. I think I may even have blogged about it - station waiting rooms always provide excellent material for blogs of a Random and Rambling Nature. Now how long ago must that have been - I reckon
it was when I was travelling to Center Parcs to meet up with the (Not So Very Little) Welsh boys and their parents. If that's correct, then it's taken them quite some time to get from then to now. I think I will not hold my breath.
I'm not really grumpy, though I may sound it. Yesterday evening Mr B and I watched grandchildren Jack and Hazel performing in a superb production of Legally Blonde. I'd spent most of the afternoon sitting with Jack and the Youngest
of the Darling Daughters on her brand new Super King Size bed, watching the film version of Legally so as to acquaint myself with the storyline. Hazel found the sight of us so hilarious that she filmed us sitting there engrossed in the film as she threw herself
onto the bed beside us, posting the resultant clip on Instagram where hopefully it will vanish in seconds. Mr B had refused to join us, preferring to soak up the delights of Escape to the Country. Sensible man, there really wasn't room for another, even on
a Super King Size before.
Today, after driving Mr B home and ensuring he has all he needs for a couple of days "Home Alone", I am off to Cardiff. Tomorrow the Duracell Bunny will celebrate his fourth birthday
- and I, of course, will be there.
I'll be there despite the distance to travel, the uncertain weather, the (fortunately unrealised) potential of delayed or cancelled trains following yesterday's one day strike,
even the deficiencies of Fareham railway station.
When the Duracell Bunny beckons, there go I.