Wednesday 28th September 2011

The Bluebell Railway


Another night when I didn't seem to need a lot of sleep.

Today, I am supposed to be wiped out and lacking energy. The weather is supposed to be unseasonably warm. So we confirmed our plan to go to the Bluebell Line in Sussex.

For various reasons, we decided not to use my steam train experience voucher. I think there will be other opportunities to make better use of it in a few months.

When we left home, we found out that there was a major traffic problem on the A3/M25, so we needed to replan our route. This took a lot longer than we expected and by the time we got to Sheffield Park, we were running a little late.

Getting on to the train was a little stressful. There was a large group of school children on board. We were directed to an empty compartment and then another person told Sue very rudely that we could  not sit in that compartment. Eventually we were allowed to stay there, but not until Sue was reduced to tears. Two other members of the staff did come along and apologise.

We planned to get a sandwich from the buffet car, but the variety extended to crisps and biscuits.

The return train journey was delightful, through rural Sussex on a beautiful sunny day, when the temperature reached 27°C. At Kingscote, we had about 25 minutes while the locomotive ran round the train, which gave us time to walk around, visit the loo (across the tracks on the opposite platform) and get some photographs of the steam locomotive 34059, a West Country Pacific, overkill for such a short train.

Back at Sheffield Park, we eventually got some lunch at the bar/buffet. I could not resist the pie and chips, rather than just a sandwich. We finished with a quick visit to the locomotive shed.

By the time we got back to the car, I was shattered. All I had to do was get in the car and relax. Sue had to prepare to drive home.

The journey home was much less stressful than our trip in the morning, with very little delay due to traffic.

After a precautionary loo stop on the A3, we got home just before 5:30. Today we had a meal provided by another of the ladies from St. Mary's, which means that Sue was able to relax, without having to think about preparing a meal.

On the way home, we started to plan a day out next week. After a quick check of the weather forecast, we have booked train tickets for next Tuesday to go to Weymouth for a couple of hours. A pleasant surprise .. advance booking first class tickets are much cheaper than I expected.

Tomorrow, I have a CT scan to measure the effect of the first two sessions of chemo. I cannot eat for 4 hours before the scan at 10am, so I will get breakfast ready before I go to bed and then get up at 5:45. Otherwise, I will have problems managing by blood sugar level.