Tuesday 17 March 2009

Getting away

After three weeks of finalising the planning, tidying and general finishing up, it was still desperate at the end. Frantically chucking anything and everything into boxes, just about squeezing our flat into a Transit van and the boot of a Tipo. Then two days at the other end unpacking, binning what we should have already binned, organising the bedroom and office. We now have a nice working space and it was a shame not to have a bit longer there.
Butterflies on the day of departure despite the rush to get ready. Without a minute to spare our bags were packed and off to pick up the train from Ashurst, New Forest. From Victoria to Euston on the underground and a chilly wait on a stainless steel bench for 90 minutes, repeatedly checking the departure board, awaiting the appearance of our platform number. Around 2330 it appears and we're off to platform 1 to catch the Caledonian Sleeper.
Near the end of a very long train, we meet our attendant with a clipboard who offers us a choice of three drinks for the morning. On the train, everywhere is narrowed. We squeeze down a corridor and squeeze into our cabin. Two bunks, a ladder, sink, shelf and just enough room to put our five bags down.
In bed the duvet is tucked so tightly in one side, it's clear they never want you to get it out. Throughout the night it's a battle to get yourself fully covered, the duvet never quite covers my left side.
I awake to find T staring out the window, marvelling at Scotland pouring through the glass. After a three tap knock at the door, two coffees and two breakfast boxes are delivered. Within each box, three sealed bags: a damp muffin, limp croissant, mousse like yoghurt. The muffin wasn't too bad. As I descend from the top bunk to eat it, I feel like a giant trapped in a toy train. There's no room for legs, no room for sitting, certainly no room for moving, but what a great way to travel. Go to sleep in London, wake up in Glasgow; the closest thing to teleportation.

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