Monday, 11 April 2011

Transports of Delight . . .

Good Evening Dear Friends . . .

Welcome to the sequestered grange of Myrtle House after what can only be described as a bizarre day of mishaps transport~wise...

Today I was due to be in Bury to see my lovely clients. I had purchased the necessary ticket at the usual great expense, traversed the countryside deep in thought about how to activate mobile data settings on my new phone and had arrived at Manchester Victoria in time to catch my tram through the misty twisty ways to the town with the biggest most popular market in the universe - if you believe the publicity!

It was, of course, raining and so I was very pleased indeed when the aforementioned conveyance trundled into the station and welcomed me aboard. We had just passed the tram depot which lies somewhere between Victoria and Woodlands Road ( forgive my ignorance!) when suddenly there was a large flash and a huge bang and the tram stopped; the driver left his cab to inspect and came back in and started the tram again.  This time the bang and the flash were somewhat larger and accompanied by copious amounts of smoke issuing from the pantograph housing on the roof of the tram.

Smoking like a kipper we crept into Crumpsall and waited. After a while we were asked to leave the tram and board the next one which was two minutes behind. The original one now creaked off very slowly indeed towards the increasingly fabled Bury  and thoughts began to formulate in my head.  I could see a problem arising here in that the tramlines are single track; ergo if a tram is slow or, heaven forfend, stops then surely no other vehicle could pass?

Anyhow, the second tram arrived and on we got  and sailed onward to Heaton Park where we stopped again. The original tram had stopped for good this time and so needed to be shunted by our tram . . . this could be done but only if the tram doing the shunting was devoid of passengers.  So off we got to enjoy the seasonal gusts and rain of Heaton Park whilst awaiting our replacement tram - from here on referred to as #3. 

Time was leaping forward like a sexually frustrated hare and I was conscious of the fact that my first client would already be waiting for me and so I called ahead and apologised and said I would be there as soon as was humanly possible.  Right on cue #3 arrived like a white charger to rescue us from the dragon of despair, we got on and gave thanks even though now the original cast of one tram full was now three trams full so it was  very intimate indeed.

So we waited for the green light. We did this for five or ten minutes and enjoyed it so much we decided to do it for a wee while longer. Sadly after 20 minutes our fun was spoiled by an announcement that the trams ahead ( that's #1 and #2  - you following this?) were stuck and it would be a considerable time before any progress could be made.  I decided I'd had more than my fair share of tram-sardines and gave up my place in the can in order that others could breathe.  On the platform ( still raining) I called and cancelled my appointments, crossed the footbridge and waiting for the tram back to Manchester.

Obviously sensing my disappointment at being able to travel in a reasonable manner the authorities responded, after five minutes consultation, with a declaration that no trams whatsoever would be in service on the Bury line and we should consider alternative forms of transport.  Having left my velocipede at home I decided to get the bus which disappointingly turned up, was road worthy and had me back in Manchester - via the delights of Cheetham Hill - before I could say " This is a farce and I want my ticket refunded!"

The train was no better; delivering me as it did unscathed and in a prompt fashion in time to utter my phrase at the ticket office at Wigan Wallgate where a delightfully pleasant and helpful creature duly refunded all my pennies.  

However, not everyone's day has been so fortunate; a dear friend of mine noticed a wee light blinking in her car and so drove to her dealership to have it looked at which, £660 later they duly did, and invited her back again tomorrow to finish the job; at least I got my money back if not the several hours of my life consumed by public transport . . .

And so here we are; late into the evening and sleep is calling me.  I have two newly assembled bookcases to stock before tomorrow's arrival of the study sofa and so I intend to get my head down for a few hours kip.

I hope your day has been better and that your tomorrows are doubly so; sleep well and wake refreshed joyous in the knowledge that, unless misfortune rains upon you, you are unlikely to be going to Bury . . . and certainly not by tram!

'til next time

Be Seeing You !

1 comment:

  1. Funny , obviously not for you at the time but reading it was hahaha :) x