The Prime Minister hadn’t quite made his latest announcement (or u-turn if you prefer) by the time that I was about to board the 13:30 Greater Anglia train back to Norwich from London Liverpool Street. But, when that statement was made, it was effectively saying that London was now entering Tier 4 and that from midnight the residents of the city shouldn’t leave the area. Things appear to have gotten worse with a new virulent strain of the virus, which is not ideal at all.
There were reports in some elements of the media that there were huge flurries of Londoners rushing out to the countryside, although that appears to have been dismissed by the rail companies who said few trains were actually full. Either way, the train that I was on didn’t seem particularly busy, so I had a block of four seats around a table to myself for the journey. And, for those who note my annoyance on this matter when Stansted Express trains are pushed into service, this train did actually have tables. I bought my ticket over a week ago, another bargain priced £10 advance single fare.
The most interesting part of the journey for me was annoyance at myself for either being asleep or not paying attention, I can’t remember which (and couldn’t at the time, so I was probably asleep) whilst pulling into what I think was Manningtree station. The driver made a furious announcement, although made professionally, that he had been forced to sound the train’s horn as he nearly hit a passenger’s bag which was being carried so near to the platform as to have actually been mostly off of it. The driver said several times, in excess of four, that the person responsible was a male, in carriage D and with a duffel bag. I was positively disappointed not to be in the carriage as otherwise I could have looked and tutted, to show my British displeasure, at this act of idiocy. I say idiocy, as that’s what the driver called it, along with other words.
Anyway, I quite liked that the driver made his coffee order over the announcement system and that the refreshment team made one back, apologising for not having the biscuit he wanted. It was sufficiently light hearted to add some humanity back to the journey and I think it calmed the annoyed driver down.
And here we are back in Norwich, on time and that really is the end of my travel for 2020. I didn’t think in early November that I’d be travelling again in 2020, but this twelve-night stay in London was worthwhile and interesting. What I’m more disappointed about now is that travel in early 2021 is looking effectively impossible. I’m likely to cancel my trip to Bilbao, whereas British Airways have already cancelled my trips to Lisbon and Dublin. I can’t imagine that I’ll be going to Inverness or Palma either, which are both in January, although haven’t yet been cancelled by British Airways.