I am not generally a religious person, however a long aquaintance with public transport in the UK has made me a firm believer in the God of Transport. Often Gods turn up in different guises across different cultures and based on the following tale anthropologists could probably find some similarities between my God of Transport and, for example, Loki the Norse trickster. Or pretty much any of the Greek gods on a particularly bloody-minded day. This then, is the story of "My Journey Home on Wednesday", subtitled "When the God of Transport is having a laugh".
I was suddenly in a great hurry to get home from work as a friend had called to say that they were waiting for me (luckily in the flat rather than on the doorstep), so I was glad to make it to Cannon Street station with two minutes to spare before my train. Except, there were no trains in evidence: all the information screens had died and lots of people were milling around aimlessly. The announcer declared my train would turn up in 10 minutes, making it still the quickest route home. As it was 30 degrees and I was carrying my own bodyweight in footie kit, handbag and assorted shopping I wasn't too keen to move. I waited. After a few more minutes the announcer decided that in fact the train was still behind the failed points which were holding everything up, so I decided to try an alternative, and walked to Bank to get on the DLR.
As I walked into Bank station, the announcer declared there were no DLR trains from Bank. Before I had even finished thinking "East London line to New Cross then", he cheerily added that there were also delays on the East London line. I dragged my assorted bags back up the stairs and towards the bus stop. Turning the corner, with a certain inevitability I saw the bus I wanted pulling away from the bus stop.
I got on the next bus anyway and got off to change buses at London Bridge. Thinking I might as well see what the trains were doing from there first I wandered in and discovered all the information screens were also down, but I managed to find a member of staff who told me I could get to Lewisham (a stop close to mine which has more frequent trains) from Platform 4 in five minutes time. As I arrived on Platform 4 I noticed there was already a train on the platform and realised it was in fact the one I had been trying to get from Cannon Street in the first place. I ran (bags and all) towards it and almost got there when the doors shut and it drew away.
I stood around for five minutes feeling extremely hot when, against the odds, the promised Lewisham train did actually turn up. I got on but in a few minutes I realised the God of Transport was really just rubbing things in, as we passed under the footbridge at my station and the people who had been on the train I had now failed to get twice in one evening were walking over my head. By this point I was starting to wonder if some kind of sacrifice might be required to placate the God and, if so, which of my fellow passengers might be suitable.
I reached Lewisham and went to get the bus up the hill. There were thousands of people at the bus stop which generally means any bus which arrives is already very full as there hasn't been one for a while. Resigned but still slightly defiant, I decided to walk. After 100 metres I glanced round to see 3 empty double decker buses arrive simultaneously and pick up all the people before whooshing past me up the hill.
I continued to walk. Defiance of the God had given way to a vague worry that my shoes might self-destruct or one of my legs might fall off, however I did finally reach the flat and collapsed into a hot, sticky heap on the sofa... Heaven help anyone who lives outside Zone 2!