Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Waiting Room

It's so easy to yearn for warmer weather. This time last year I was dousing myself in mosquito repellent and broiling to a crisp in Ghana.

Now I get to sit in a waiting room at Streatham Common station and ruminate about life's great ride.

I had a curious conversation with the ticket seller at St Pancras International on Monday night. I asked for a ticket for Tuesday morning from Streatham Common to St Pancras.

And he said: " You mean Streatham?" .

"No," I replied. "Streatham Common."

"The train doesn't stop at Streatham Common it's from Streatham. They're two completely different stations."

"I know that," I said showing no hint of irritation that 40 plus years of using the stations should have afforded me.

"The website said that the train stops at Streatham Common."

"No it can't unless they've rerouted the entire network round there. It's 5.46 at Streatham."

And with that flourish he told me to look at a board of the routes. And indeed they showed me what I already knew.

I even asked him to check the station the train stopped at before Streatham. "Was it Tooting?"

He looked and he couldn't elucidate the stop before Streatham.

Obviously his stance slightly worried me. Had I been so tired that I incorrectly jotted down the information from the website.

I took the train to Streatham and another onto Streatham Common and sure enough 5.43 at Streatham Common and 5.46 at Streatham.

He was right and so was I. But he was very wrong to say that I was wrong.

The upshot was that I shuffled off for the walk to the nearer Streatham Common this morning and thought how kind of Thameslink to lay on an early morning train from my local station which takes me right to St Pancras International.

This cross border train travel is a breeze. Though I loved Waterloo, I always had to change to get there from Streatham Common.

Streatham Common to the Gare du Nord on two trains.

Now it's just a matter of waiting for the Thameslink service to be removed.