Monday, May 09, 2005

Nice surprises 

I do like it when things I'm not looking forward to turn out better than expected. This weekend just gone I went uo to my Mum's for a dress fitting for my sister's wedding. I wasn't enthusiastic about the trip, to say the least. It's not that I don't like visiting, I do and I feel guilty that I don't do it more often, but this was not a well timed trip. It'd been requested at short notice, I had a commitment on the Friday evening (which meant a pre-dawn start on the Saturday morning), and as both my personal and work 'to do' lists seem to be expanding exponentially I could really have done with the weekend at home. But needs must, so I packed a bag, set my alarm clock for a time which is uncivilized on a workday, let alone a weekend, and resigned myself to two 'wasted' days.

Things didn't start well. Having avoided my Ipod since I started having ear problems, I'd decided to take it along with me, but it turned out not to be working properly. I spent just enough time messing around with it truing to get it to work that I had to sprint to get my bus. I arrived at the station, planning to pick of reading material for the journey, only to find that the newsagents opens three-quarters of an hour later on a Saturday than it does during the week, so there was no chance of me getting a newspaper. This meant facing a five hour trip with no music, nothing to read, and the prospect of a load of football fans on the train, as I'd discovered that one of the teams from my city was playing away against one of the teams from a city enroute.

But once we set off, things started to get better. There were no obvious football fans, the at-seat audio was working and the shop (which is what we seem to be calling the buffet these days) had something worth reading that I hadn't already read. I even managed to get a half decent bacon sandwich and cup of tea. And sitting down for several hours doing nothing did me the world of good. Watching the world go by is very soothing, and there is something about the journey home, watching the lines of the lanscape gradually harden and the changes in the stone, that never fails to lift my spirits.

Once I was at my Mum's there was nothing that I had to do, except stand in heels, on top of a pile of telephone directories, keeping my arms out of the way of pins and trying to make intelligent comments about waist and neck shapes (none of which is as hard to do as it is to type). By the time I got home again yesterday evening I'd been away for 37 hours, of which eleven had been spent travelling, but I felt very refreshed and invigerated, which I really hadn't expected. Far from being a wasted weekend, I think it was exactly what I needed.


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