If you ever travel by train and need to make a connection, can I suggest that you avoid Cosham?
I am sure Cosham is a lovely
place, inhabited by kind and hospitable people who would welcome a stranger into their homes, provide sustenance and send them merrily on their way with a flask of coffee and a chicken sandwich to keep them going on the next stage of their journey.
Unfortunately the railway station does not come up to the same high standards - as I discovered this afternoon when I spent a rainy half an hour there awaiting my train to
Basingstoke. In the interests of other travellers who may find their way to Cosham, I decided to spend my time fruitfully in carrying out my own assessment of the station's facilities.
Well, the platform on which I alighted (and where I was due to spend the next half-hour) had a single shelter with a bench in which about a dozen rain-soaked fellow passengers were waiting with the kind of grim fortitude which I imagine
was experienced in the War Years. Though in the War Years, of course, people would not have been listening to their Ipods or checking their emails or phoning home to pass on inconsequential messages like: "I was on a train. I am now at a station. Soon
I will be on another train." To be fair, today's blog is starting to sound a bit like that.....
Anyway, I decided I was not armed with sufficient grim fortitude
to stay huddled with the others under the shelter, so off I set across the bridge to test out what was Over On The Other Side. Not a lot, was the answer. Oh, there was a ticket office (and a loo, thank heaven for small mercies!) but, alas, no smell
of freshly-brewed coffee wafting from a cosy cafe where I could have cheerily spent the next 25 minutes with my book and a skinny latte - and perhaps even a blueberry muffin or a piece of shortbread. There wasn't even a seat - except outside on the rain-drenched
There was a cheery-looking man behind the desk in the ticket office. His cheerfulness seemed to be in exactly inverse proportions to the miserableness
of his customers. You could imagine him rubbing his hands together, metaphorically speaking, every time another poor, cold, sodden passenger opened the door and peered in, searching in vain for some creature comforts.
Five minutes to go and I scampered across the bridge to catch my train. I was feeling all buoyed up. I had survived the Cosham Experience and I was on my way to the home of the Youngest of the
Darling Daughters for a couple of days. What could be better?
On the homeward journey, on Tuesday, I have to change at Hilsea. I have this awful premonition...