I joined the thousands of other commuters who travel to London Friday morning for a meeting and event in the afternoon. I’ll admit I’ve not commuted in over 6 years, which seems almost insane thinking about it. But with a meeting at 10am in Highbury, I needed to get the 8.01am train from Ramsgate to London St. Pancreas. We’re lucky here in the South East that our train link is high speed, I can get to Kings Cross in an hour and 20 minutes.
The morning started off well-ish, even with Emily asking for a cuddle at 4am and coming into bed with us. Although she rarely sleeps in our bed anymore, it was nice to have a cuddle with her before being away from her the whole day. For Emily, it’s all about daddy Friday. I was up early, something of a normality for me at the moment, and left the house in a jolly mood for the day ahead.
Well, that excitement was short-lived when I got attacked by 2 seagulls who dived in for my bacon roll. I’m not even joking they came for me with such anger for that bacon butty, it was me or the bacon and they got the bacon. Bastards! Worse thing is they didn’t even eat the fecking bacon. They flung it onto the track and attacked each other for the roll instead. Luckily a staff member at Ramsgate saw the alarmed/funny side of it and offered a cuppa on him from Cafe Nero.
I’ve lived in Ramsgate 3 years and I’ve never been attacked for food! First for me. 🙄
Anyway, the overall commute was ok. I got a seat which was nice so I could do a few emails and admin whilst listening to some tunes. St Pancras was manic when we got there, another thing I totally forgot being a work-from-home person, but I got through it.
It amazes me how much my attitude to the TFL is now in comparison to before. I always used to just do it, allow this mental overcrowdedness to just happen. It used to always be ok that breathing in some guys very over-lynxed, yet sweaty armpits was just part of the everyday norm, but I had forgotten what that commute was like and it was a little overwhelming, especially the shoving and pushing that everyone has to do to just get to work.
Through a not-so-trusty pre-prepared journey planner I finally got to my destination even though a little lost running around Highbury & Islington, I had my meeting and it went well. Thankfully.
Well, until I had to get to ExCel.
My God, that journey is a lot harder to figure out than it needed it be. What I thought would be 25 minutes turned into an hour and 15 and I felt like I was wrapped in cling film by the time I walked into the ExCel centre. And what’s with all the steps?
The event was a success, I’ll have a post written about it at some point, but before long it was approaching 5pm for the manic commute home.
Again I had forgotten the intense need for every single Londoner having to get home and if that means a swift push through to get there then so be it!
There were already people on route to go out for their Friday night drinks, others just dying to get home and the rest in their bubble floating along.
West Ham got me a seat on the Hammersmith & City line and then Liverpool Street happened. How do you commuters do it? It amazes me I did it for years and never let it bother me beyond a rant over a vino with friends, but it’s insane. Within seconds of these doors opening, hundreds of people shuffled on and I had some guys crotch shoved into my face. With no air con on the train it was a lot of sweaty tired annoyed people that just wanted to get home.
It’s understandable the London Underground is the most popular method of transportation in London. Crazily over a billion passenger journeys are taken each year, so it’s no surprise rush hour is as hectic as it is during peak times in the mornings and early evenings.
I brought my water bottle thankfully for those unpleasant hot journey but with my one day and your everyday commute, honestly I salute you commuters! It was uncomfortable but only for a few hours before I got on my train back to Ramsgate. I bought a little bottle of wine to toast my successful work day.