The two women sitting on the only bench on Platform 2 budge up so that I can squeeze in the middle. I express fervent thanks and try to make myself as small as possible, which is no mean feat considering I am carrying
not one, but two, bags.
In one, all the regular handbag "stuff" some of which will be similar to the everyday essentials which most women carry and some of which will be peculiar to me. No, I am not planning
to go into details, I will leave it to your fertile imaginations. The other bag is my "travel bag" containing the "i" newspaper, a bottle of water, the letters and accompanying forms needed for my forthcoming appointment and the IPad. Almost an hour on a train
means a good opportunity to write today's Daly Blog and to be ahead of myself for the first time in days.
Obviously there is a problem in that (I) it is only 8.30 in the morning and nothing much has happened
to me yet; and (ii - and possibly more importantly) lots of Blog-worthy events may occur after I have finished composing today's Random Ramblings. It is possible, you know, to get altogether too far ahead of yourself.
The three of us sitting on the bench on the station platform are all keeping anxious eyes on the notice board where we can check the anticipated arrival of the 8.38 to Southampton Central. My fellow passenger on my right tells me the 8.19 was cancelled.
We gaze at the board again to make sure the 8.38 is still up there. It is. So far, so good, we smile at each other.
A station announcement! The 8.38 will be delayed. There is more information to follow but
it is lost in the noise of the Brighton train pulling out of Platform 1. "Did you hear that?" we three Ladies in Waiting ask each other anxiously - but none of us did. The notice board seems to be suggesting that the 8.38 will now arrive at 8.43. That's hardly
a delay, we say, cheerily, more like normal service. We keep an eye on the board. Just in case.
I am lucky enough to have a back-up plan which is pretty good going for one who is, let's face, it an Eternal
Optimist, always convinced - until proved wrong - that Everything Will Turn Out Right in the End. My back-up plan comes in the shape of my friend Sue, she who cuts my hair, makes my curtains, decorates my house and teaches me how to make items like bunting
and oven gloves at the sewing classes she runs. The multi-talented Sue has offered to take me to my destination, should the train foresake me. Have you noticed it is always the really, really busy people who can always manage to find the time to help you out
in your hour of need?
But, hey, I will not need to call upon her services - the 8.38 (which by rights should now be called the 8.43) is trundling into the station. We three rise from the bench, as one, to
On the train, I phone Mr B to reassure him that I am, indeed, on the train. He says he has been worrying about me. It probably didn't help his equanimity that, before I left, I was powering round
the house like a marathon runner looking for a race to run, as I tried to make sure I was leaving him with everything he might need until I arrived home. Tablets: dispensed. Breakfast: made. Pain au chocolat (I thought he needed a treat): heated up. Flask
of coffee: filled. Tray of snacks: prepared. Phone: right there on the table, under his very nose, should it happen to ring. Which obviously it would, even if it were only Yours Truly ringing to tell him I am "on the train!"
The Youngest of the Darling Daughters who is meeting me at Swanwick station, texts to ask if she should pick up some sandwiches for our lunch after my appointment. She follows this with another text saying she has bought some anyway. I do love Decisiveness
in a Daughter.
But more than that, it's lovely to have a Darling Daughter with me today. Having spent two days at a hospital this week providing support to Mr B in his hour of need, I'm now the one with a
hospital appointment, albeit a simple pre-surgery assessment. But I know from past experience that the presence of this Darling Daughter will turn a hospital appointment into a Jolly Jaunt. It will be like one of our regular Lunch and Theatre dates. But without
Unless, that is, I make an exhibition of myself...