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27 February 2006

You know how I hate to kvetch (uh, you do know that, don't you...?), but there are some days that just set themselves up to be kvetched at, or else I set myself up for a whole damn day of kvetchability (which might perhaps suggest that I don't hate it so much after all - but nah, bugger that, it's the misery thing, I hate being seen to be miserable, and the going on about it which is an inherent part of the state, and and and).

Anyway: up at 6.30 this morning, in order to catch the first of three trains, in order to get to Ilkley for a rather important Murder Squad meeting before eleven, in order to have a couple of hours together before a crimewriting lunch with the whole Northern Chapter. And you know already what I'm going to say, don't you? If not, you don't live in England or you haven't been paying attention. It's a Sunday, and I'm making train journeys; and of course I should've got up at 5.30 to give myself a margin, but that was just a stretch too far.

So my first train was half an hour late on a one-hour journey, due to engineering works on the line (they always do this on Sundays, so that the few trains that actually run are completely buggered about), and I didn't just miss my connection, because the fallback position (I always do have a fallback) which would've got me in late but not hopelessly late was cancelled altogether, or rather converted to a bus which would take three times as long, and so I spend a couple of extra hours sitting on a couple of intermediate platforms and what should've been a two-and-a-half-hour journey turns into five, and I arrive just in time for lunch. And okay, it's a roomful of people whom I like to be among, but I'm in no fit state to enjoy it, being wound up tighter than an armature; and the service is not so much slow as decrepit, and the food is simply dull; and okay, I did actually have to be there for the sake of a new Squad photo, even though I missed the rather-important meeting entirely, but it's a hell of a long way for ten minutes' posing and I hate being photographed at the best of times; and the journey home after is as bad as the journey down, almost to the minute of that five hours; and the whole day has been so damned expensive, both in terms of working-time lost and money spent, not to mention wearing my temper ragged; and all the way home I had to keep remembering that I wasn't coming home to a cuddlesome cat, because I'm just at that stage now where she's not at the forefront of my mind any more so I'm constantly rediscovering her absence, which is kind of worse, I think, a succession of dull shocks rather than the vibrant keening of immediacy.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.