Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Film Offers Considered for Rail/Road Trip

I left work on Monday at 4pm, so that I could get home and get ready to catch an early evening train into Liverpool street London, and then across to a hotel near Heathrow airport, for a sales conference I had been offered the chance to go on, over Tuesday and Wednesday.

So my father kindly gave me a lift to the station at about 5pm to catch the 5:23pm train from Bury St.Edmunds, to Stowmarket, so I could meet a colleague who was getting on the Norwich to London train at Diss. While I waited for the train, my father walked up to the platform with me, and we walked to the far end of the station, and chatted and I listened to his railway stories and reminisces from his Steam engine era, while we enjoyed the sunshine.

The train arrived on time and got me to Stowmarket, where I had about a 15 minute wait for the London train. My colleague had text me to say that they were in the 3rd carriage from the back, and we met up.

The train pulled into Ipswich station, and as we sat waiting, an announcement came over the tannoy that we may be delayed a few minutes. After about 30 minutes we departed and when we got into Colchester came the news that the train was terminating there and going back to Norwich. Due to power cables down between Chelmesford and Shenfield, on the line, great !

So back we go. And we discuss whether to go back and get my car and drive down, just go home, or try going via Cambridge. Via Cambridge turned out not to be an option due to the time element having to go to via Ely ! So we order a Taxi, from on board the train by phone, to meet us and get my car from home.

After needing to fill up with Petrol, which I did at Sainsbury's , we get onto the A14. At the second Newmarket turn-off there are blue and red flashing lights ahead, fantastic, it now looks like the A14 is shut. A container had come off the back of a Lorry after it had jack-knifing.

Luckily, it was possible to get around the recovery by going onto the slip road (off ramp) and then across the chevrons back onto the carriageway.

We finally make it to the Thistle Hotel at about 11:30pm (no sat nav in this car) and I had a quick pint in the bar, before retiring to my room for a shower and sleep.

Tuesdays conference start time is 11am, and we ( my colleague and I) meet for breakfast at 9:30 and sit and watch the planes taking off, after eating.

Some people, after hearing about our journey, seem a bit nervous around us, and our bad luck. Tuesday goes well and we finish the day at 6pm with a meal available at 7:30 for us all. A chap from another office and I, leg it (about a 7 minute walk) to a pub nearby that I spotted, on the way past, the night before.
Back in time for the meal, and later, the 10 people on "our" table, for the conference and the meal, are the only table that has all its guests still around, while other guests had gone to bed, we had such a laugh !
Wednesday, and its an 8:30am start, and the dreaded roll play, pretending to be staff and customers. Lunch, lectures, writing, presentations and video's and a 4:15pm departure, after worthwhile trip.


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