Tuesday 4th October 2011

A Trip to Weymouth


An exciting day in prospect. Sue and I are going to Weymouth on the South Coast on the train. Every week we are trying to arrange 1 day out. It has lots of benefits for both of us.

For me, it enables me to measure the extent to which I am recovering some physical strength and energy. Today, will also tell me whether I can cope with rail travel, which will be necessary when I return to more normal work. And .. I like travelling by train, especially when I can get discounted First Class tickets.

We have a taxi coming at 9am. Plenty of time for a train at 9:49. We already have tickets, so won't need to queue up. The weather yesterday was great, sunny but not too hot. Today it is much colder and heavily overcast, so we didn't choose a great day to go to the seaside. In fact, as we left the house, it was just beginning to rain. We got to the station with about half an hour to spare, so time for a cup of coffee on platform 2.

Our train left Basingstoke exactly on time, lost 10 minutes at Bournemouth and eventually arrived in a sunny Weymouth 7 minutes late. I am a bit of an anorak about trains and record detail which most people probably don't care much about. 

09:49 Left Basingstoke on time. 10 coach train. We needed to be in the front half to get to Weymouth.
10:03 Arrived Winchester. The sun is trying to break through.
10:12 Arrived at Southampton Airport Parkway. The refreshment trolley came past.
10:20 Arrived at Southampton Central. Into the New Forest.
10:37 Arrived at Brockenhurst
10:44 Arrived at New Milton
10:51 Arrived at Christchurch. Now in Dorset. Just over half way (in terms of time)
10:55 Arrived at Pokesdown for Boscombe
10:59 Arrived at Bournemouth. The train split .. the front 5 coaches going on to Weymouth. The sun is out, at least in the station. Departure delayed because train crew had to take a mandatory break after "an earlier incident in the Southampton area". Finally departed at 11:14, 10 minutes late.
11:23 Arrived at Poole
11:28 Arrived at Hamworthy. Crossing Poole Harbour.
11:32 Arrived at Holton Heath
11:36 Arrived at Wareham
11:42 Arrived at Wool
11:48 Arrived at Moreton.
11:55 Arrived at Dorchester South
12:01 Arrived at Upwey
12:07 Arrived at Weymouth. Should have arrived at 12 noon.

Our immediate plan, subject to getting a reasonable price estimate from a taxi driver was to go for a quick visit to Portland Bill and then return to Weymouth water front for lunch (probably fish and chips). We needed to be back at the station in Weymouth just after 3pm to make sure we get the right train home this afternoon. Our tickets were only valid on a single train. We should have plenty of time.

The plan worked out wonderfully. The taxi driver quoted us £36. He took us across the causeway to Portland Island, passing the location of the Olympic yachting regatta in 2012 and dropped us close to the newest of the 3 lighthouses.

The sun was shining and there was a very pleasant cool breeze. It was a wonderful day to be out. We stayed around 20 minutes and asked our driver to take us to a fish and chip restaurant on the sea front near the station. He got it absolutely right. The haddock and chips was excellent. We just about had time to walk across the Esplanade to look at the sea, before it was time to walk back to the station.

We got on our train at 3:05, by which time, I was pretty zonked. So had 15 minutes to relax before the train left.

15:19 Departed from Weymouth. 1 minute early.
15:24 Arrived at Upwey
15:31 Arrived at Dorchester South
15:39 Arrived at Moreton. Dozing pleasantly.
15:44 Arrived at Wool
15:50 Arrived at Wareham. Late afternoon sunshine on trees and fields
15:56 Arrived at Holton Heath
16:00 Arrived at Hamworthy
16:04 Arrived at Poole
16:15 Arrived at Bournemouth. A very "wide" station with an impressive glass roof.
16:24 Arrived at Pokesdown
16:28 Arrived at Christchurch
16:36 Arrived at New Milton
16:43 Arrived at Brockenhurst. No more sunshine. It is heavily overcast.
16:58 Arrived at Southampton
17:06 Arrived at Southampton Airport Parkway
17:15  Arrived at Winchester
17:33 Arrived at Basingstoke. (Due into Basingstoke at 17:34) 

I felt as though a lazy evening was beckoning. My feet were quite swollen, so I needed to sit with them elevated for at least a couple of hours, but first of all we needed to get a taxi home from the station.

This was a great day before the days of medical appointments start tomorrow. The train journey, 2 hours in each direction was very relaxing. I walked a long way, without any real problem, other than swelling in my feet and legs.

We did forget to take my "booster cushion" which I use to make sure my hips and knees are at the correct angle, even when chairs are less than ideal. While most of the day was fine, there were some situations where I was not comfortable. By the time I got home, my hip was "grumbling quietly".