There was a piece in the Times yesterday about Charlotte Rampling and how at 66, she is still finding good parts. The article mentions her father, Godfrey, as an Army officer, but he was more than that. He was a superb athlete, winning gold in the 1936 Olympics and died three years ago at 100.
Charlotte was born in one of the villages surrounding Haverhill in Suffolk. As was Elisabeth Frink, one of our finest sculptors.
There must be something in the water.
I had to go to London today, to see the man, who is decorating my new house and make sure everything was OK.
I was dropped at Whittlesford and the trains were running very much to time. As a fallback, I checked that the new Holiday Inn at the station was open, so if I needed to wait for my taxi, then I could do it with a coffee in the warm. It was, so that was probably an omen that I wouldn’t need it.
I didn’t take my normal route to Highbury and Islington from Tottenham Hale, but instead took a bus from Seven Sisters through Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington to the Essex Road. It worked and I had a much shorter walk than I normally do.
Everything was going well, so because of the weather I checked on a few things and walked to Carluccio’s in Upper Street for some lunch. After an excellent risotto, I walked to Highbury and Islington to get back to Totteham Hale.
I won’t say my troubles started there, as compared to many others, I didn’t suffer much. The Cambridge trains weren’t running, so it was suggested by staff that I go to King’s Cross and get a train from there.
Now the company that goes out of Kings Cross is First Capital Connect, which is a different one to that out of Liverpool Street. So I was worried that my ticket might not be valid!
By 16:30, I was in Cambridge, only to find that there were no trains to Newmarket, so I took the bus to the main Cambridge bus station, intending to get a bus to ether Newmarket or Haverhill. It actually doesn’t matter which as there are good taxis home from either, but the ones from Haverhill are slightly cheaper, as the town is closer. There was a large crowd waiting for the Newmarket buses, so as one was just leaving for Haverhill I took it. Unfortunately, it was a slow one, so I had an extensive tour of the many estates that surround the town before I got a taxi home.
If there is anything positive about today, it is that public transport must be flexible and that tickets must be interchangeable, if one service fails. Except for the taxi, which I would have had to pay for, wherever I returned home from, everything was covered by my day retiurn and Travelcard from Whittlesford or my bus pass.
Except for my walk too, everything was clean and warm and as I sat upstairs in the front of the bus from Cambridge to Haverhill, I was able to complete the Sudoku from the Times.
The one thing though that would have improved my journey would have been the unopened Cambridge busway, which surely will make getting from Cambridge station to the city centre aot easier. Or it might do in the future, if has been designed properly. And on that subject, shouldn’t the busway and the trains interface properly with buses that go to inaccessible towns like Haverhill?
Incidentally, it appears that the trains from Tottenham Hale are now running to time, so perhaps my diversion to King’s Cross was unnecessary.
It also seems that the overhead electric trains to the north of London are much more reliable than those to the south using a third rail for power. My engineering knowledge would suggest that overhead electric trains perform better in snowy weather, but I’m happy to be corrected. If this is true, it is rather strange that some railways south of the Thames were electrified using overhead cables, which were then changed for thrd rail. But the history of railway electrification in the UK is as complex as you can get, with innumerable systems, changes of policy and objectives. Read a simple history in Wikipedia.
There always is, isn’t there!
I’d decided that the best way to get home from the hospital, would be to take a bus to Haverhill and then take a taxi.
As I left the hospital the 13 bus was there, so I ran to get on it. I may have had a stroke, but I can still run ande walk a few hundred metres or so.
I assumed that the bus would go straight to Haverhill Bus Station, as the previous one had done a couple of weeks ago. But this one did an unguided tour of all the delightful estates and I ended up being dumped in a place I did not recognise. It hadn’t helped that because of the rain I couldn’t see out of the bus in the dark.
So it was a long walk to the Bus Station and then I couldn’t get a taxi without half-an-hour’s wait.
So something that should have been easy, made me late!
I get more fed up with the countryside every day.
After the film, I did a bit of window shopping in Cambridge and then had lunch in Carluccio’s before catching the four o’clock bus to Haverhill, where I was going to get the coach at six o’clock to Ipswich for the football.
The weather was atrocious and it was almost pleasant to be at the front on the top of a warm 13 bus, as it meandered its way through the villages to Haverhill. At least, I had a little shelf in front of me, which allowed me to do the Sudoku.
Haverhill though is not the place to spend an hour at five ‘oclock on a very wet Tuesday afternoon. There was no cafe open and the one or two pubs that were looked very much like the places I would only visit in direst need. The rain looked friendlier! I walked up to Tesco’s as I needed a banana and a juice with which to take my Warfarin. They did have single bananas, but I couldn’t find any small drinks of juice or smoothies. As everything was in litre bottles or larger, I decided that it would be better to try elsewhere. I got what I wanted in the Co-op. But they didn’t have a gluten-free section, so my thought of buying a packet of suitable biscuits went out the window. Tesco’s did have a gluten-free section, but it was rather poor, with no nice biscuits. I did ask in the Co-op about gluten-free and they said it had been successful, so they stopped it.
So supper consisted of some sandwiches, I’d made before I left, some chocolate, a smoothie, a banana and a 5mg. Warfarin tablet.
The coach from Haverhill to Ipswich was probably the fastest part of the journey as the weather seemed to have kept the crowd very much below what I would have expected.