Wednesday, 8 February 2012

An Embarrassing Dash for the Train

This morning I had to get up early. This morning I was tired. This morning I had a shower but the water was cold. It was at that moment, on this icy cold day, that I should have realised this was the start of things to come.

I preceded to dry and straighten my hair and apply my make up. Each time I looked at the clock I felt more and more anxious. I knew I was late.

A normal person would have gathered everything together quickly and made a dash for the station but I seemed to be paralysed by the actual fear of being late and missing my train.

I eventually managed to leave the house. I realised at this point, as was driving to the station, that I didn't have my sat nav. This meant that I would have to drive the 23 minute journey to the station just by following signposts - eeeek!

Typically, 2 minutes in to my journey I hit bin lorry traffic, which, I have to say is one of my pet hates. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's great that we have a 'free' refuse collection service but quite frankly I'd rather just take my own rubbish to the tip than have to sit in traffic every Wednesday morning as they slowly make their way down the main road. Anyway, I digress.

Avoiding the slow moving traffic I decide to turn off and take a shortcut to the motorway. This turns in to an epic fail as I then get caught behind a HGV doing 20 miles an hour down a 60 mph country lane.

Not one to give up hope, I pray out loud that my train will be delayed. There's a small chance that I can make it to the platform at the same time as the train but the chances are slim. Devine intervention will most certainly be required.

I race down the motorway and miraculously I follow the signposts to the station. My train is due at 8:09am. Its 8.05am and the only spaces are on the roof.

I park but as I begin my staircase decent I realise that I have forgotten to put my belt on. At that moment my brain makes the decision... It says "Leanne, you know you'd rather show your arse than miss this train so run, run like the wind". So I did.

I ran and ran and I didn't stop. By the time I'd made it up the stairs and on to the platform, I thought I was going to pass out. Platform 4 - the Holy Grail. My bum was hanging out but I'd arrived against all odds.

But then, possibly due to lack of oxygen and the fact that I knew my train should now be on the platform, I panicked. I glanced across the tracks to see a familiar grey pendolino. Nooooooo! I glanced up at the information board. It said the next train arriving at platform 4 would be for Birmingham New Street. Double nooooooo!

Still, I didn't give up. I ran back down the stairs, through the underground pass and up on to platform 5 just in time to press the button on the door. By now I could feel the cold nipping at my bum cheeks and I knew that my coat was the only thing preventing indecent exposure. I pressed it again but the doors remained closed.

"You're too late love," said the guard "you've missed it." I was so out of breath that I couldn't speak. Another passenger came over to translate my heavy breathing. "Aaaah, poor love, I just saw her running- she went to the wrong platform."

The train pulled away.

By this point I thought I was dying. I couldn't get my breath and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

"Where we you going love?" the guard asked. "Lon..[insert heavy breathing]..don." I panted.

The guard started to laugh, "Well it's a bloody good job you didn't get on that train then love, else you would've ended up in Glasgow!"


"Don't worry love, your trains delayed half an hour - you're on the wrong platform. It's platform 4 you need."

The embarrassment begins to sink in. Not only have I used my whole months allowance of energy running around Wigan station like a mad woman, missing *my* train and almost breaking in to tears but it these glorious events were all witnessed by my fellow London bound passengers, now staring at me across the tracks over on platform 4.

The shame!

With my head held low I began my decent to back to the underground pass, still dizzy from my run, still yanking my pants up to prevent further embarrassment.

As I emerged at the top of the stairs on to platform 4 I was greeted with knowing smiles. No one spoke, they just stared at me with pity.

Eventually, my *actual* train arrived - 34 minutes late - just as I'd prayed for on my car journey. You could say that the whole events were down to God slightly punishing me for me making that prayer, in fact I'd say he was probably having a jolly good laugh at my expense right about now.

So that's where I am as we speak, on the train surrounded by the witnesses of my great embarrassing moment of 2012, just tapping away on my iPad with my bum hanging out the top of my overly skinny jeans.

You'd better wish me luck for the rest of the day!

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