Everyone knows it's windy
Friday, January 19, 2007 6:42:16 PM
I was manfully accepting the fact that I need to catch a bus to the station. I was grumbling only occasionally about the fact that local buses seem to run only every half hour or so until the shops shut, after which you are lucky if they run once an hour (not massively convenient for those of us who get home from work in London after 7pm, but no one seems to catch a bus when they come out of Hertford North station). All that was before the mini-tornado that hit yesterday and put most of the mainline rail services in London out of action.
One of the benefits of living in Enfield was that, should push come to shove, I could get home by bus. I could get most of the way home by tube. Hell, I could probably walk it were I pissed enough. Not so, Hertford.
When I heard about the trains being up the creek, I logged on to the excellent Transport for London journey planner and plotted my journey home. The options were:
- Northern Line to Hendon. National Express bus to Hatfield. Bus to Hertford
- Metropolitan Line to somewhere called Croxley Green. Bus to Hatfield. Bus to Hertford.
- Silverlink mainline train to Tring. I stopped reading after that.
Left to my own devices, I would have got several buses to Waltham Cross and caught a 311 to Hertford; it might have been longer but at least it would have taken me to places with which I was familiar. Where the hell is Croxley Green?
So, I took the Hendon option and staggered around looking for the right bus stop. There are a hell of a lot of bus stops near Hendon Central station. Eventually I found the right bus stop and began examining the timetable when a person with a disturbing visual similarity to Pete Birks said, with an accent that also had a disturbing similarity to Peter Birks, "That's a complete work of fiction." I knew it wasn't Pete Birks because he would have added "mate" on the end of the statement in a mockney accent.
As it happens, I wasn't looking at the times of the bus, just making sure it was going to Hatfield. However, the ice had been broken and, as we Brits do in times of hardship, conversation ensued. I thought I was hard done by, getting stranded in Hendon, but the person who was not Pete Birks had spent the day travelling down from Hitchin to Waterloo, only to find out that the Eurotunnel trains were not working, thus condemning him to missing his meeting (a good thing) and spending the rest of the day struggling to get home (a bad thing).
Apparently express buses were stopping at this stop, but the last two had been full up, which suggested that the best way of getting home was to travel back into London to Victoria in order to have a fighting (literally, I expect) chance of getting a seat. The next bus had just the one seat available, but being British and therefore unable to decide who was entitled to said seat without risk of causing offence, we (well, three of us) decided to share a cab to Hatfield instead.
I rang up Mrs. Fiendish to test out the possibility of a lift home from Hatfield and she warned that the roads around Hertford had been absolutely choc-a-bloc earlier that day and a joruney that normally takes 15 minutes had taken her over an hour. See Hertford? This would not be such a problem if you had (and used) a decent bus service!
Anyway, as luck would have it my cab arrived but two minutes after Mrs. Fiendish at the Hatfield Galleria and I got home safely. Along the way I learned how number one son had arrived home to find the locks on the front door changed and nobody home. We'd had to change the lock when the barrel on the old lock broke. Number one decided to enter the house through the garage - the only problem with this being that the door from the garage to the house was locked. His response to this was to kick the door down. He later claimed that he was desperate for a "pony" but it is more likely that as he had just spent twenty quid on two new tropical fish he was anxious to get them in his tank before they died. Of course, now he is going to have to pay over £100 (estimate) to get the door fixed. It's an expensive way to "spend a penny".