Need I say more?
For those of you lucky enough to have not looked out the window yesterday, let alone leave the house, Doris is the storm that has been terrorising the UK for the past 24 hours.
Doris is a little bitch.
After nearly being blown away while walking from the station to work, I kept my eyes on the train delays for the rest of the day. Out the window, we had blazing sunshine, big threatening clouds and some blustering winds. It looked rather pretty to be honest.
The trains were delayed most of the day from London – mostly a few minutes here and there, half an hour at most. Then at around 1pm, Euston suspended all services. I mentioned to my boss I might leave a little early just to ensure my journey wouldn’t be hell. But I promptly forgot this agreement until 5:30pm, when I all but ran out the door hoping I wouldn’t get the worst of it. How I was wrong.
After checking National Rail, most trains from Euston seemed to be delayed, with no indication of when they’d be leaving. Could be 20 minutes, could be six years. So plan B. I decided to go for the 17:39 train from Clapham Junction to Leighton Buzzard. At 18:22, the train was cancelled. So after waiting half an hour for it, begging for it to arrive, I had to think of a plan C. Back on the train I started on to get to Vauxhall, in order to get the tube and head to Euston.
As I got on the tube at Vauxhall, it was announced that Euston tube had closed due to overcrowding. Ok, plan D – underground to Warren Street or St Pancras and walk to Euston overground. Doable. We’re still cheery, still smiling, only been trodden on once.
A few minutes later it was announced that both Warren Street and St Pancras had shut. I got off at Victoria, had a minor panic attack, and ever so slightly teary phone call to the other half then my brother.
Eventually I was back on the tube with plan E and raring to go (after briefly being evacuated from Victoria tube, before changing their minds and letting us in). Warren Street was open and I was ready to walk. As I stepped off the tube and the doors closed, it was announced Euston had opened. Good.
Plan F. Patience starting to wear thin.
I arrived at Euston by tube.
I was finally here and my prayers were answered. I had started from Putney at 5:30 and arrived at Euston at 7:30 (normally a 20 minute journey). I rushed upstairs, ready to get any train that would take me anywhere North.
Turns out there were 7 trains going from Euston. Two to Manchester, one to Wales, one to Liverpool and three to Watford. Not ideal, but Watford will do. However after 19 stops it would take an hour and a half. From there I would then be 40 minutes at best from Leighton. There were also no London Midland trains running out of Watford. At all.
I don’t know what stage of the plan I was on anymore.
It was at this point I decided I might take a weekend trip to Liverpool. Sure the Scouse other half was currently at my home in Bedfordshire, but I’m sure I could find things to do. They won’t need me at work tomorrow will they? Hotels in London crossed my mind – but could I really go to work the next day in yesterday’s clothes, yesterday’s make up, and no fresh deodorant? I was certainly not popping to the shops to buy shampoo, deodorant and a toothbrush because of Doris the Dick.
As I stepped onto the Watford train, wondering in my head how much an hour taxi from Watford would set me back, flocks of people started sprinting towards platform 10.
I was obviously intrigued and followed the masses to see what was going on. A train had pulled into the station, WITH PEOPLE ON IT. The guard was being swamped with questions: is this train to Milton Keynes? Where does it stop? Are you going to Hemel? Is this a fast train to Watford? And my personal favourite: will this train ever leave?? No. No trains will ever leave and you will all have to live in Euston station. Stoopid.
No it was not a fast train (surely that went without saying?!) and it would be calling at every station imagineable before arriving at Leighton Buzzard. Would it be an over exaggeration to say that at this point, I was the happiest I’ve ever been?
However dramatic I may have been about my ordeal, I am under no illusions. I know I should count myself lucky that I actually live fairly close to London (in the scheme of things), and realistically people must have gone through much, much worse.
There were people getting on that train to Liverpool, which on a normal day is over 2 hours. Who knows how long they were on that train?!
But I made it and I’m now ready for another day. As long as there are no delays.
On a positive note, it is finally light when I leave in the mornings! It makes this feel like a much more sociable hour. Here comes summer…