Sunday, 6 February 2011

Some Days Out Are Better Than Others

Sonata:
You know how some days are perfect ? You come across something new , talk to someone fascinating , eat something delicious and it all adds up to a memorable day out .

Yesterday was not one of those days .

I love a day out and have a train discount pass which , now I'm ancient , entitles me to seven days a year free travel anywhere in Holland . I like a ride in the train ,comfortable seat , book and coffee in hand , nice scenery .... what's not to like ?

Well .... It turned out that repair work , long overdue , had been scheduled for this Saturday on the line I needed to take to get to an Antique and Curiosa Fair I was looking forward to . The train website warned of an extra half hour's travel time .

So I took an extra apple and set off . We seasoned travellers are like that .... intrepid .

It was a bit busy and it turned out that re-routing meant four different trains rather than one . But it went reasonably well till train number three . By this stage , every inhabitant of Holland and their visiting cousins from Iowa , were being funnelled along one single line south .This led to overcrowding .

"We're standing like herrings in a barrel " , boomed a man behind me on the little swaying platform - bit between two carriages , where we were wedged with twenty other people . And we all laughed . Which turned out to be unwise . Suddenly a little voice piped up , "Mama ! Mama! I need to pee , I need to pee NOW !!!". General consternation .

We couldn't even see the child , let move aside to let them both walk down the train . In fact , moving in general wasn't an option . Short of crowd-surfing the child over our heads to the loo , two carriages further along , he had to wait . He wasn't the only one to sigh with relief when we finally arrived .

When I got to the Fair and , having seen a beautiful stall of gorgeously displayed vintage bobbins , ribbons and wool , I'd asked the stallholder if I could please take a photo and he'd smilingly agreed , I discovered I'd forgotten to put the memory card back in my camera .

So you won't get to see the tottering pile of 1950s hats , the rows of glittering chandeliers , the piles of old French blue enamel ware , the Art Deco china ..... Sorry .

Never mind , the trip back only took an extra forty minutes and a touch of glamour was thrown in by finding that the planners , in a moment of rescheduling desperation , had turned the hi-speed International train to Berlin into a local branch-line stop train for one leg of the trip . The German passengers looked slightly askance at us all as we travel-weary natives all swarmed onto their snazzy express , clutching our C&A bags , big bunches of flowers , sausage rolls and baby buggies . Lucky , really , that no one felt the need to inspect the toilet facilities .

Since it wouldn't be a blog entry without a photo or two , I'll show you what I bought




and the wonderful sunset I caught sight of this evening when I took the weekend papers to the recycling bin ( a case of virtue rewarded ? ) .


14 comments:

Martha said...

Pretty ribbons...and buttons!! It's always nice to end the day with a beautiful sunset. ESPECIALLY a day like you described...
:o)

rachel said...

I'm so relieved that you actually got there, and that you bought yourself something.

And that you didn't have to crowd-surf a small child who probably would have found himself unable to hold on any longer as he was lifted above all those heads!

Carolina said...

Just one of those days thus :-)
But it gives you something to write about. 'Got on the train, everything went smoothly', would have made a boring story ;-)

Friko said...

Dutch trains not on time? Whatever is the world coming to? Those German travellers to Berlin won't have been happy!

Marcheline said...

Whew! At least you got a good story out of it... and wasn't it wonderful to finally get home again? Days like that always make me appreciate my own little home so much more.

shandy said...

I really envy you those cards of buttons. I'm still using the cards of vintage mother of pearl buttons I bought at the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt in 1974!

Liz said...

All in a day's adventure for an intrepid traveller! Glad you got there eventually and had a good time. It sounds wonderful.

Fran said...

I love the idea that you saw that amazing sunset while taking out the recycling.

kristieinbc said...

Oh no! That sounds exactly like the kind of thing that would happen to me. :-) I also love to travel on trains and am so jealous of those of you that live in places where it is both practical and possible. That is not the case here in western Canada.

lovethosecupcakes said...

I do enjoy travelling by train but I really don't like getting up close and personal with my fellow passengers. Well done you for surviving that challenging outward journey. You deserved those treats.

Jinksy said...

Not too sure what strage comment you're referring to on Npple Notes? Was it the anonymous nut case job (with a down on American women?)that I deleted?! Your latest comment had gone into my Spam folder, or I might have read it sooner...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Jinksy : yes , that was it . I read it before it was deleted ! One of those randomly-sprayed weird comments that reaches everyone but the intended target , I feel .

Isabelle said...

Sounds like a mix of good and bad. Not a boring day, anyway.

Planet Penny said...

There's always a sigh of relief finding out that other countries do train delays. According to the British Press this country is the only one to EVER have problems. It looks like a good day over all tho', and that sunset is stupendous!