Saturday, April 22, 2006

some days...

Some days are just rubbish, aren't they? Today was a rubbish day, one of those days when one thing dominoes on to create just enough chaos to ruin it without actually causing any true physical harm.

Actually, today really began yesterday when I managed to drop my brand new rail-card on the bus going home. This rail card is pretty much useless to anyone else. It's limited to go between two stops on a single over-land train journey. It's different than having an Oyster card, Ken Livingstone's new magneto-plastic wonders... no, this is the old-fashioned paper ticket attached to a truly ancient picture-card. I carry it as well as my Oyster and feel tremendously urban and rat-like. It's worth 70p a day.

Anyway, so I dropped it using the powers of my new pregno-brain and didn't notice until I was leaving the house this morning. Deductive reasoning led me firstly to the station Lost and Found. Where they keep Lost and Found in Clapham Junction, I don't know but it must be hard to find as the surly 'customer service' rat who went to look for it took 8 minutes, enough time to make me miss both of the last two trains that get me to work on time and the next one is a half hour wait. So I was late for work. This meant I didn't have enough time to finish all the prep for an afternoon meeting which meant I was late for the meeting, which meant the meeting ran on which meant... and on. Somewhere in between cramming a cheese bun into my face while fondling a spreadsheet and answering my 100th stupid question of the morning I snuck onto the Lost and Found website and in the only bright spot of the day, found my card.

In Peckham, at the bus garage.

Now, Peckham bus garage is, as the name suggests, actually in Peckham. Only 15 minutes from Brixton by car, Peckham is about 40 minutes by bus. It does have a bus garage however apparently no buses go there. I discovered this after asking my driver (number 37 bus to Peckham) 'can you tell me how to find Peckham Bus Garage' and he said 'Don't worry, I go there'. Five minutes later he stopped in a supermarket parking lot and said 'here you are'. On being asked the question 'where is Lost and Found' he said 'Oh, you need to go to Peckham Bus Garage' - this is where he added 'No buses go there'. His directions (go straight on at the roundabout... where the only choices are 'left' and 'right'... 'go under the bridge and go straight... the road only goes 'left' and 'right' then turn right on whatever road... which has NO signposts) finally got me to my card, by which point old Blobsie was doing the Chatanooga Choo-choo on my tummy muscles and I could feel the arches of my feet hitting concrete.

All this because of a rail card designed to go one stop and cost 70p a day. In the real world I would have written it off and bought another however in this new world of wonder-brains I decided to buy a pass lasting 4 months rather than 7 days because I save about 3p a day. This saving means I spent more on this bloody card than on return flights to France. Three of them. Imagine. A woman who has already lost 2 pairs of sunglasses this year buying a credit-card sized piece of paper which has to remain firmly in custody for the next 4 months.

I don't think I'm going to be able to hang on to my sanity for the next four months, perhaps now is the time to accept the temporaneous nature of my rail card.

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