I went into London yesterday. Why is it that when I go into London there is always a problem with the tube? Are they trying to make me appreciate more the joys of home working? All went well on the way in, but I had to return on time to pick up the kids from school. I left on time [ok, the customary two minutes late]. Things were going swimmingly until I hit Oxford Circus. A couple of trains went by which were not heading in my direction. Then there was the inevitable tannoy announcement. Someone had thrown themselves under a tube at Lancaster Gate and all Central line trains were suspended. I know I should have felt really bad about the person under the train, but my main concern was how on earth I was going to get to Essex without the Central line. There is no way, bar walking or taking several hundred buses. I envisaged myself arriving at midnight and the kids camping out at school/nursery [with one whacking great nursery fine to boot].
I stared at the tube map for several minutes, wondering if I could get to Kings Cross and then get a cab to Liverpool Street then an overground train and possibly another cab. I was imagining some sort of Disney-esque incredible journey minus the dog and cat when lo, a tube appeared. I think it was the last tube running east. I got on and the driver dully announced severe delays. I got into my station with 15 minutes to spare to run up the hill to my car [15 minutes away] and drive [10 minutes] to school. It was an impossible feat, particularly since my days of running up hills fast are over [indeed I have never been very good on hills. Even when I had a bike I used to get off it on hills and pretend there was something wrong with the chain rather than look really hopelessly unfit]. I rang a friend to ask her to stay with the kids while I puffed up the hill. Thank God for friends. As I was hiking along, I got a call, as you do, from a newspaper. They probably imagined me in a suit in a posh office. Not for the first time I told myself never to get a video phone. When I eventually arrived at school, puce plus the toddler [who I had stopped off to pick up at nursery en route], I stumbled upon the school book fair. The girls were in luck. Having actually made it home, I was only too prepared to fork out for a couple of books to celebrate. I even gave in to daughter two’s request to make chocolate mousse. It had been a long day.