Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Day in the Life of Simon Ernestovich

A busy day ahead. Drive over to Reeman, Dansie auctioneers in Colchester. Sit through endless coin and toy auctioning (but not without interest - why does a George IV crown go for about three times a James II one, given that said George reigned for about four times as long as said James and about four generations later?). Packaged food at counter is surprisingly good.Three items of interest to me come up. I get one below estimate. Enough time to drive back to Dovercourt to take train to London for Meetup writers' group, parking about 1 1/2 miles from home and near the station.

Meetup group is interesting with a wide variety of writers sharing their work. No other poets, though. Return to Liverpool Street Station to find unexplained delays on Norwich main line. Train delayed by some 45 minutes. getting me to one stop from home, is said to be leaving soon, but the train I was intending to get appears to be delayed, though there's no information. I waver but get on the earlier train. Cause of delays is person killed by a train - a secret tragedy we just see the tip of, probably a suicide. Approaching Colchester, announcement says the train is terminating there and not going on to Harwich International. Everybody gets off. Two puzzled railway employees are trying to field questions and saying as far as they know, the train is proceeding. Hear one say "all screens are showing false information". Those of us they can catch are ushered back on the train and it gets to Harwich International.

Note to self: in future, travel with 24 hour taxi number. It's now about ten to midnight. No staff around. My problem is that while I could walk home from here, my car is further away, too far for me to be willing to walk, tired, around midnight. Screen on platform says train to the remaining stations on the branch line will come at 00:17. There is a phone Help Point and I use it. They aren't able to tell me if this alleged train actually will run. I wait. The predicted time of arrival goes to 00:26 and then 00:28. I wait. Finally at 00:15, the predicted arrival shifts to 00:52. I leave and walk home in about 20 minutes. Next morning I pick up the car.

Tragically, deaths on the line are not that uncommon. I can't relate to the personal tragedy because all I know is that someone was killed by a train. What I can relate to is that systems for dealing with the disruption seemed to be thrown into total chaos.

Still, it was a mild night and not raining...and I slept well...

Back to the Odanglesex Chronicles next time.

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