Happily Ever After

Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running

Earlier posts can be found on Adventures of a Lone Bass Player, where this blog began life. Recent entries can be found here.


Struck Down By Strikes

by Russell Turner - 21:23 on 20 March 2024

Less than three weeks to go until London Landmarks Half Marathon; training going well and everything booked, including the Gatwick Express for which tickets were bought last night. Then those pesky train drivers announce their next series of strikes, from April 5-8: the exact period that we’re away. Oh dear.

I knew my luck would turn eventually. I’d lived dangerously with two London trips last year (there were strikes both the day before and after my Royal Parks HM travel days), plus two rail journeys to Glasgow this year, so getting caught seemed inevitable. The good news is that the Express will run on the 5th; the bad news is that it’s marked down for strikes on the 8th when we need to reach the airport.

Matchgirl’s money-no-object first thought was to stay an extra night. That would be nice, but easyJet would demand £49 each to change our flights, and Premier Inn expects £175 to extend our stay: a price much higher than the per-night cost of the three nights we booked some time ago. Her next thought was a taxi to the airport, which a quick Google search revealed would cost at least £100.

So she’s made the ultimate sacrifice and allowed me to buy two £8 coach tickets with National Express for the two-hour road trip from Victoria to Gatwick. The train takes 30 minutes. This is emergency back-up, snapped up now in case there’s a late rush of locomotively challenged customers; with luck we won’t have to use them and Matchgirl can travel in her accustomed style.

The worse news is that Ex-triathlon Cathy, who planned to join us in London, may have to find her way there without the assistance of Avanti West Coast.

With luck, the strikes will be called off, or there'll be enough non-union drivers to keep some trains running, but it's best to hope for the best and plan for the worst. Life can be cruel.

Comment from Cathy at 10:04 on 21 March 2024.
I see your two hours on the coach and raise you seven from Chester!
Comment from Russell at 21:44 on 21 March 2024.
Don't forget your picnic!

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