Sunday 24 September 2017

I'm definitely not trained for travel

Eleanor Goggin

I'VE said it before, travelling of any sort just doesn't suit me. When I travel, St Christopher, the patron saint of all excursions, turns into Brian Cowen, and it all starts to go horribly wrong.

I had to leave my native Cork recently and go to Dublin for a seminar. Because of my sometimes hedonistic lifestyle, I was exhausted, and very much looking forward to the train journey back. Settle in, coat on the seat next to me to discourage unwelcome visitors from joining me, magazine out and money ready for the coffee trolley. I had even nobbled some petit fours from the seminar. Much nicer than the old ham and cheese sanger. My complacency was short-lived. We were informed that the train would not be leaving for at least an hour. Part of the line was closed. I fell asleep, to be awakened by a guy I know standing in the aisle laughing and implying that my slumbering countenance is not a pretty sight. Dribbling, snoring, double chin etc

Then those on the next train due to go joined us, as did another train's passengers. So we had a refugee situation. Standing in the aisles, sitting on laps, no room for luggage. Then they told us we could have free tea and coffee. I'm still wondering how anybody could have made it through the train to get to the dining car. They brought us part of the way by train and then by bus for another bit. Getting on the buses was comparable to the lifeboats on the Titanic. People were climbing over each other's backs. I was close to shouting 'women and children first'. When we at last got back on a train for the rest of the trip, I had to squash myself into a luggage compartment at an angle any contortionist would have been proud of. And my petit fours were smashed. I'm staying in Cork from now on.

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