2023 Lisbon Trip (Day One – Getting to the Airport)


I had a little local difficulty at the weekend which primarily related to a problem with this bloody blog. I don’t mean a local difficulty like Matt Hancock having all of his WhatsApp messages sent to the Daily Telegraph thanks to Isabel Oakeshott, but a slight issue with a server. I’m glad that all of my WhatsApp messages haven’t been sent to the Daily Telegraph, it’s not clear that they have enough journalists to scour all my photos of food and messages containing gossip.

There are some blog posts currently still missing, but fingers crossed that just about the whole lot will be back over the next few days as I think that they can be recovered. But, there are two posts that have been lost which were the first two documenting the Lisbon trip that four of us went on this weekend. These can probably be recovered from one of the grand total of 22 people who subscribe to this blog by email updates, but I want to rewrite them in the past tense otherwise they sound odd. Well, these posts sound odd anyway, but let’s not get distracted with that.

The above photo is of St.Pancras railway station in London where rather unhelpfully all the boards had gone down again. I was travelling to London Luton Airport (nowhere near London really) from London, whereas the other three (Bev, Steve and Susanna) were on a Greater Anglia rail service to London Stansted (also nowhere near London). There had been minor incident already which is that Bev had forgotten her stick that she needed to be able to walk around. I did note privately to myself that it seemed odd she only realised the lack of her stick so late on, but I don’t like to comment. Although there’s plenty more stick gossip to come in this blog…..


My train was the 11.45 to Corby, stopping at Luton Airport Parkway and Luton. I was going to Luton and walking back to the airport as otherwise I’d be too early, but so far the day was going marvellously and the train looked ready to go. This was a bargain fare, costing just £2.90 for a single ticket.


After boarding there was an announcement from the guard that the train didn’t have a driver. I’m not necessarily an expert on trains, but this didn’t seem entirely ideal. There were frequent announcements that the driver would be here soon, then after 25 minutes it was announced that the train service was cancelled. Fortunately though, they just operated the next service as normal, so everything was exactly 30 minutes behind schedule. And yes, I’ll be claiming the 50% Delay Repay which means this journey cost £1.45. Very thrifty.

Meanwhile, the other were now on board their train to Stansted Airport and had just reached Cambridge. When Bev looked out of the train window she saw Nathan and a friend, who were going to Cambridge for a drinking trip, fleeing the scene as it had transpired they’d all been on the same train. Bev banged on the window as hard as she could, so it’s a slight surprise that it didn’t cave in under that pressure. Nathan ignored the situation, thinking that he was under attack I suspect. If I was a betting man, which I’m not as I like certainty, I’d suspect Nathan and his friend had been hiding in the toilet for the entire journey as it seems strange to me that they didn’t bump into each other before then.

Anyway back to the trip, all was going well, as we were all on trains heading to our respective airports ready for an exciting adventure in Lisbon.