Jaqui's Daily Blog

Reserving Seats, a Band and the Way It Is

We spent most of the day in training on Monday. As in, on the train back home at the end of our long weekend in Cardiff, aka the Friendly City.

We had reserved seats on the train from Cardiff to Fareham and took great pleasure in proving the point to anyone who queried our provenance. (Yes, I do realise that makes us sound like a couple of antiques but, as Young Faris never ceases to remind me, I have reached a Great Age. Which makes Mr B an Even Greater Age but please don't remind him.) It was very amusing watching people get on the train at different stations, glance slightly shiftily at the reserved tickets sticking out of the seat backs and sidling into the seats trying to look as if they, too, had been well-organised and made reservations.

The best bit about this particular game (I call it the "Reserved Seats Game." I am imaginative that way) is when the rightful owners turn up, brandishing their seat reservations and turfing the usurpers out of their seats. They leave, protesting their innocence, and head off to carriage A where they will doubtless attempt to jump into someone else's seat. Mr B and I sit in our Reserved Seats looking smug and hoping that someone will challenge us so that we can self-righteously brandish our train tickets with our seat numbers on and show them the name "Ball" typed onto the white cards sticking up from our seats.

Mr B still keeps on about the time I boarded the homeward bound train only to find an extremely large woman, laden down with luggage, sitting in my reserved seat. When I pointed out, sweetly enough, that she was in my seat, she indicated the vacant seat opposite and suggested I sit there instead. Which I did, on the basis that it was going to take her so long to move herself and her baggage from my seat that we would be in Newport before I managed to claim my seat.

This all happened about six years ago but Mr B reminds me of it every time we, or I, travel to or from Cardiff. You would think I was the one at fault, not the Baggage Woman. I did, I protest in my own defence, make it clear that if anyone arrived to claim the seat I was sitting in, then I would re-stake my claim to my reservation but Mr B says this is not good enough. I can only imagine that he feels I have somehow attacked the Very Order of Things by accepting a seat that was not the one I had reserved.


Mr B is gradually becoming more relaxed about the whole Train Travel thing. It helps that I can point to the quite amazing savings we are making through booking early and using our rail cards. Of course, as Mr B so rightly says, if we stayed home and didn't travel anywhere, we'd be quids in. But we wouldn't be having anywhere near as much fun, I say.


We do manage to grab a precious hour or so with the Duracell Bunny before we have to leave for the station. His mother warns me not to mention the "T" word - as in train - too often as Young Morgan is desperate to go on a train and, most particularly, to go with us wherever we are going. Instead we sit at the keyboard and pretend to be a band. I am on tambourine, shaker and whistle while Morgan keeps to the keyboard, changing the tempo from Bossa Nova to Jazz to Trumpet at will. We somehow find the button which plays the tune of "I love you just the way you are" and play it over and over again. I just know that the tune and its soulful words will be going round and round in my head for the next several days as I wean myself off the fun of days with my Little Welsh Boys:

"I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from my heart
I couldn't love you any better
I love you just the way you are."


In fact the Usher gene is about to kick in again because the tune is so catchy, the words so meaningful, Morgan so very, very sweet with his cap of fair hair and outrageous dimples. He will change, of course he will, he will grow up and today, sitting at the keyboard with my tambourine in one hand and my shaker in the other, singing along with my lovely boy will be just one of many fond memories. Fortunately the Duracell Bunny has no time for such mawkishness and starts singing "Wind the Bobbin Up", complete with actions which he makes it clear I am to copy. Even the Usher Gene draws the line at grizzling over "Wind the Bobbin Up."

The following day is James's actual birthday so, even though we seem to have been celebrating it for many days, we resort to FaceTime so that we can watch the Birthday Boy open cards and unwrap presents. It's almost as good as being there. Though not quite.

We are now back into the swing of our day to day life. Our Tuesday afternoon cribbage group has restarted after the summer break and, come Friday morning, we will be once again exercising our vocal chords at choir, under the guidance of our conductor, The Redoubtable Muriel. The Bacon Bap Brigade will reconvene afterwards in the community cafe so I must look out my Loyalty Card as I am pretty sure I am coming up for a free cup of coffee. Nothing has changed, not really, over the course of the long summer.

Which is just as well because I love it - just the way it is.


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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