Tuesday, 7 December 2010

If only I had a helicopter

Well! How was your day? Travel anywhere nice? Travel anywhere at all? Let me tell you about MY day. Actually let me tell you about somebody else's day - yesterday.

Aileen Campbell, our youngest MSP, due to give birth today (excited about that) had to travel from Glasgow to her home in Biggar last night. Normally it would take 50 minutes. Last night it took 13 hours. She sounded quite relaxed when she reported via Facebook that she'd finally got home but she can't possibly have been. I'd have been out of my mind. In fact when I heard about it (after the event) I got really stressed out on her behalf.

Another friend was stuck for ten hours on the M80 with her husband and one year old baby boy. How on earth do you cope with that kind of situation? It's unthinkable.

So I DO know as I tell you my tale, that I got off quite lightly. Nevertheless, this blog and you readers are great therapy so allow me to begin.

I had to be at petitions committee today so I thought I'd get the 11am train in order to get in nice and early. In normal circumstances I would get there 2 hours early using that train. I had a suitcase with me as I'm staying over 2 nights. And I'm female, I NEED everything in that suitcase. So I called a taxi. But not only could I not get one to come out, I couldn't even get through on the phone - to any of them!

So my sister (who was staying with me) and I decided to walk to Bellgrove Station and get a train to Queen St. It was quite hard humphing the suitcase over the packed ice especially as most of it was downhill but I managed and felt a great sense of achievement when I reached Bellgrove. And all would have been well if it hadn't been for the fact that we waited a while and then discovered that the trains were all cancelled. Marvellous!

We decided to walk. It's only half an hour normally but normally I'm not mountaineering with a suitcase. Anyway it was fun but the fun ended when I got to Queen St. I was there on time for the 12.30 train which was cancelled as was the 12.45. I was obviously there on time for the 1pm but couldn't get on it. The queue filled the concourse and went out into Dundas Street, looped round and back into the station. We stood in the freezing cold for ages and then we heard the great news. An extra train was being put on and it would leave at 1.15pm.

Not only did I get on that train, I got a seat! And I sat in that seat for over an hour waiting for the train to move! Points problems, something like that, I was past caring. "Give me a solution" I wanted to yell "not a problem". I wanted to yell but instead I smiled sweetly at my fellow passengers.

It worked! The train decided to get a move on and after quite some time we pulled into a station. It's hard to recognise towns in the snow and I was wondering "are we at Linlithgow or Haymarket?" but NO we were at Croy. I wouldn't have minded if the heating had been on but it was baltic. (Actually that's a lie, I would have minded but I wouldn't have been so cold.)

Eventually we got into Waverly at around 3.30pm. I went to the ladies' loo and put my face in the hand dryer and I'd have stayed there had folk not started giving me funny looks. Ha! I'm kidding about that one. Not the face-in-hand-dryer tale, that bit's true. I finally plucked up the courage to walk to parliament and got there at 3.50pm.

So it was only 5 hrs 20 minutes and to be honest although it was cold and uncomfortable it wasn't that bad. Like I said, I'm pretty sure that had more to do with remembering what my friends had to go through. Anything is better than that. And besides, the clerk to the committee must've been feeling sorry for me and he came up to my office with a wee chocolate muffin for me. The world is full of good people and Fergus is one of the goodest today lol.

I hope people stay indoors if they can. Don't be martyrs. I had to come through but unless you're really needed please don't put yourself through it. Stay safe and warm and remember this could last a while. And on that cheery note ... I'm off!

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