Date: 8th August 2013
Setting: Waverley Station, Edinburgh
Characters: Myself, Mum, Dad, Roxy, a Cousin and other passengers.
I escorted Mum and Dad to the Waverley station today for their trip to York visiting an elderly aunt. The train was the 11:06 to Penzance. Now they don’t get out much and that’s just as well for them and the general public and here is why.
They arrived at my house at 10.05 am in my cousins car who was driving us to the station. My reason for being there was to help locate a “safe” place for their suitcase. They are both on sticks and struggle with these things so of course I didn’t mind. When I stepped out of my flat and saw the two of them in the back seat with sunglasses on a Roxy the Bichon Frise dog sandwiched between them I asked my cousin if they had both just moved into the back to let me in but she said no they insisted on sitting there and so she had driven them like that. It was like a scene from ‘Driving Miss Daisy’. Once at the station the two of them proceeded to move as if in parallel dimensions to each other. One walked, the other stopped and would look wistfully at a sign, a taxi or a bin. I was constantly between two people who were at any time 10 feet away from me in opposite directions. I felt like a sheep dog and a loud one as I had to project everything in order to be heard. I got them together and told them to stand still whilst I checked the board. 11:06 on time platform 19. I returned to find they had moved off in their respective opposite directions so after a quick and I must say abrupt round up I moved them to the busy platform. Then in a bellowing voice my mum said, ” Well then. What do you think of Peter?” I looked nonplus and quizzically replied, “Peter?”
“Peter Capaldi being the new Doctor Who?” Now my mothers never watched an episode in her life.
“Oh yeah I’m sure he’ll be good. I like him.”
“Yes” she said.
People looking to where the loud voice is coming from.
“I mean they say he’ll be the oldest one but what about that William Hartnell? I mean surely if they started with an old guy he should be like Methuselah by now?”
Losing the will to live at the thought of explaining the regeneration process I moved towards the train as it pulled in to the platform. This was the really tricky bit. I projected to them to just get themselves on after me and let me deal with the suitcase. I fought my way on but was met with around 10 people coming from opposite end. It was like the Battle of Bannockburn except on a train. There was no luggage room at that end and the overhead luggage spaces were not big enough for suitcases. The people were closing in, my mum was shouting out the seat numbers, it was gridlock and the train was leaving in 2 minutes. I saw that a man had sat in one of their seats and he wasn’t budging. I asked my mum for the tickets as proof. She kept repeating ” 13a and 14a” every time I asked for them. Eventually I projected like Brian Blessed ” Mother, give me the bloody tickets NOW!!” Which was met with a disapproving look and a Les Dawson-esque mouthing of “alright!”. I turfed the guy out, I still needed to put the suitscase somewhere, it was still gridlock and I needed to get off ASAP. Stretching across a less than impressed woman’s face I shoved tickets in my dad chest and said I’d stick the case at other end of carriage but I had to get off. The announcement came on asking for those not travelling to get off the train now. The sweat was forming and I could feel one of my legendary personality changes coming on. I surged forward using the case as a battering ram ready to fell anyone who stepped in my way. I located a considerably larger luggage area nestled the case in a secure neat spot, jumped off the train as the doors closed. I ran up to the window to where my mum and dad were. He was nowhere to be seen and so I called my mum on her mobile. She sat looking at me shaking her head. I gesticulated to her to answer it. Still the head shook. By this point I was like Malcolm Tucker on speed ( Peter Capaldi again!) and she reluctantly answered.
“You are not allowed to use your mobile on the train” she said.
“Eh?” I responded. “Where’s dad?” I asked.
” Oh he’s gone to get the suitcase”.
“WHY?” I retorted in total dismay
At that point she put her phone away and gestured that she shouldn’t be using it and the train pulled out of the station.
I stood alone on the platform. Exhausted. I stared at the train as it disappeared round the bend and felt I had gone the same way.