Saturday will see my longest ever train journey. Plymouth Argyle v Oldham Athletic. I hope the excitement is coursing through your veins the same way as it is mine!
Train is actually the most expensive option. But given Chris’ desire to get home the same day, it’s probably the best option. Planes were considered but required a return on the 24th. Club coach was less than half the price, but I’ve always thoroughly disliked coach travel and the idea of being cramped up for twelve hours in a day was an absolute no given the condition of my right leg and pelvis. And car? It’s just a bit too much for me to want to take on in a day.
So train it is. And I even bought our food for the journey yesterday, carefully checking best before dates on the kind of food I used to take to cricket matches. Scotch eggs, pork pies, bacon strips. Chocolate raisins to incorporate a fruit option. And Chris will bring the ciders.
I got home, placed the bag in the fridge, headed upstairs and discovered the news that the RMT Union are on strike on our day of travel and there’s a revised timetable.
I clicked through. Great news, our train is running. As far as Exeter. I loaded up a ticket booking site to check for Plymouth options out of Exeter. Good news, there are some that don’t involve Cross Country Trains. Bad news, it gets us to Plymouth 26 minutes later than planned. 30 minutes and we get a 50% refund! I’m going to be sat on that final train praying for a few sheep to sit on the line for five minutes!
Okay, we can get to the game in good time unless something changes between now and the weekend.
But we can’t get home. We can stay in Plymouth. Exeter is an option. Bristol perhaps. But there is no chance of getting back to Manchester until Sunday afternoon. The part of the fare for the return leg will be refunded in full. But that’s unlikely to cover the costs of a hotel. And if anything goes wrong with Sunday’s trains a Christmas Uber home won’t come cheap.
Part of me is slightly relieved. Rest between two long train journeys will be good for my various ailments. But you’d think the evil privatised rail company and wicked loony left trade union could have sorted their shit out to ensure thousands of people heading home for Christmas can do so without disruption.