I wake up early but am still feeling Lurgesque.
I do the supermarket thing and then set off for King’s Cross – I’m going up to visit Ben and Sally in their rural idyll. There is some confusion as to which which trains are going where and whether they can be bothered to send them there at all. So we are sent from one platform to another until a train eventually manages to struggle in. I get a seat (after all they’ve had to condense the passengers from about three trains onto this one) and pass out, remaining semi-conscious all the way to Cambridge. I have the radio on, and a performance of Mahler’s Fifth flickers in and out, resolutely out for the Adagietto, which was the bit I wanted to hear, of course. Good trumpety parping, though.
On reaching Cambridge I’m feeling very poorly, buy a ticket for the village where Ben and Sal live. I look for the right timetable and find that it’s having the “Cambridge” line highlighted in dayglo yellow. The chap who was doing the highlighting asks if he can help, I tell him where I’m going and he directs me to platform two at 12:28, but it transpires that if I took the train that was at that platform at that time I would have been taken back to King’s Cross. Another chap says I want a train from the same platform at a slightly later time, and it deposits me at the right station. The general air of chaos during the journey leaves me feeling that the fact that I reached my destination was more a lucky accident than anything that the railway companies might have attended.
Ben meets me halfway between the station and his house and guides me there where in addition to Sally, Nat and Will are Liz, Ant, Claire and David . We have all met every so often over the last few years at one couple’s house or another, but not mine, because you couldn’t get that many people in my flat, let alone feed them.
(A bluffer’s shorthand for the last paragraph might read: I met various people. Some of these were children.)
A very pleasant day follows, that includes lunch, ice-cream, collecting horse-chestnuts and eating fresh walnuts (which I hadn’t done before and will do again) and generally hanging out in bucolic splendour.
David and Claire give me a lift back to Bounds Green and I take the tube from there. have to get my strength back – complicated few days coming up. Why do I have to deal with complexity while I’m ill?