Long, Hot Summer

  • 16/07/14
  • Richmond – Vauxhall – Return

Come January when the wind is blowing and it’s dark by the middle of the afternoon I need someone to remind me of this entry reflecting on this long, glorious spell of hot days and balmy nights, sitting on the boundary rope appreciating the thud of leather on willow, and that bloody stupid tune they insist on playing at T20 matches.

Whilst I often have good reasons for being delayed, sometimes it’s just my own incompetence that means I turn up late for a train. And so it was this evening. Fortunately South West trains were also being incompetent and the train I thought I’d missed arrived just after I did. With a sterling, and unexpected, effort one of the usual staff saw me, grabbed a ramp, and put it straight down. I’ve said before how great some of the guys are that assist me and this was just another example of pulling all the stops out.

By the time we’d got to Vauxhall we’d made up time, and there was a staff member to meet me which meant getting off was extremely easy and efficient, and I made it to my seat at the Oval well before the first ball was bowled. Leaving the Oval I decided to walk back to Vauxhall on the other side of the road. This always carries a certain risk, not knowing what obstacles or kerbs lay in the way, but I hoped there might be fewer rolling roadblocks, or pedestrians as the Highway Code calls them. It turns out that my luck held out and not only was I correct but there weren’t any unexpected obstacles so I made it back to Vauxhall in record time.

There comes a point when travelling with a wheelchair that you’ve been to a station often enough to get recognised. How long this takes depends on a number of things. But the magic number seems to be six or eight visits. Tonight I reached this milestone at Vauxhall when the guy on the gate greeted me, confirmed my destination, and radioed for assistance before I managed to open my mouth which was impressive as I was in a crowd of about seven thousand people.

The train home was obviously a little crowded, but not as bad as rush-hour, and other than that, entirely uneventful.

As I’ve said before, sometimes things work as they should, which just goes to prove that it can be done and makes it all the more sad that it goes wrong quite so often.

About Alan

I'm an Economist, Geek, Campaigner & wheelchair user who's been using all forms of public transport for 20+ years.
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