Friday, 30 May 2008

An Eventful Coach Journey!

It was beautiful weather when we booked the trip to Scarborough in Yorkshire. We thought it would be bracing to be by the North Sea and that it would cool us down a bit!
The morning of our departure arrived. The rain was pouring down over the whole of the south of England. So we set off in a storm of slashing rain and high winds and it was also decidedly chilly. What a way to start a coach trip!
We had to change coaches at a large coach station, where it was still pouring with rain.
The driver had locked our cases inside the luggage compartment at the side of the vehicle, which was  beneath the seating area. He told us to come back and collect them in half an hour, as our new coach had not come in yet.
We went for a cuppa and returned just before the coach was to be opened up and noticed a lady by herself looking very distressed. She was wanting to board that coach  and she badly needed the loo, but as she was disabled, she could not take her case with her on the long trek to the loos. I suggested that as we needed to take our cases off the coach that we would be able to put hers on at the same time. So off she trundled with her sticks. My good deed for the day!
However, jobs-worth driver had other ideas! "I'm not putting anything on," He said, "Just taking things off." I asked him if he would keep an eye out for the lady's case as we were going to be late for ours if we had to wait for lady to return. Very reluctantly he agreed.
By now we were soaking!

Our new driver was a Scottish man, named Jock, who told us optimistically that it would be lovely weather north of Birmingham,
As I looked at the passing scenery from the coach window, several posts started to take form in my head! I had a notebook so started to write down notes.
We pulled up at a large Service Station  somewhere around Birmingham. This is the territory of Swearing Mother and I wondered whether she was sitting next to me as I supped my tea in the restaurant. I would never know if she was, nor would she know me!

Suddenly, POW! The lights went off! We had suffered a power cut! Luckily we'd had our tea but others would not be so lucky as all machinery was dead. Tills were stuck!
We had to get to the toilets which were upstairs. The tiny emergency lights had started up as the generator kicked in and we were just able to see the way to the escalators that had stopped.
Upstairs the tiny lights led us to the toilet area but it was like going into a black hole. I had to check what kind of lock it was as once the door had shut I was practically blind. No way of seeing if conditions inside were clean. I was thinking of Expatmum  by now as she likes a good toilet yarn!  Armed with tissues, I decided not to risk the seat, but to squat and my poor thighs wobbled with the strain. No way to check if I'd left the seat clean, nor would the electronically powered flush work. I was pleased that there was hot water but the soap dispensers were not working for some reason, neither were the hand dryers. I fumbled my way out and wondered how Harry was faring in the gents. I hoped he would be able to aim straight in the dark and wished I'd packed more pairs of trousers, in case he hadn't. However, he came out laughing and his trousers looked OK, his hands were covered in soap as there was no water as there was only an electronically powered spray in the gents. 

We got back to the coach and the experience had really broken the ice! Everyone was joking about the blackout and the fact that there were still coaches arriving at the Service Station, passengers little realizing that they were not allowed in anymore and there were staff at the doors to prevent anyone going in. We wondered what the poor passengers would do with full bladders and growling stomachs. Best not to think of it.
We got really friendly with two other couples through that little fiasco!
As we arrived in Scarborough, the weather had dried out just as Jock had predicted.
Things looked promising.
The holiday had just begun!


Gone Back South said...

Hey Maggie, Good to see you back! Hope you had a good holiday.

Expat mum said...

That's it - I'm carrying a mini torch with me from now on.

Laura Jane Williams said...

It is so nice to have you back, Maggie May! Hurrah!

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Maggie, sounds like an eventful trip.

I often wonder if I'm ever near any of my blog-mates, it's weird to think we know such a lot about each other but wouldn't be able to recognise anyone.

aims said...

Maybe we should all start wearing a green scarf or something - red shoes? That way - everyone would be able to recognize a fellow blogger.

Pics of water just make my heart ache locked here in the middle of the dry prairies....sigh

Nora said...

I can see all sorts of good fodder for good posts. It's good to have you back and I can't wait to hear about it. You were a person greatly missed.

Mean Mom said...

Well, your first day was certainly eventful! I try not to sit on toilet seats, either, but it does become more of a challenge, as you get older!

Welcome back! Nice photo!

San said...

Nothing like a disaster to break the ice among strangers. I'm glad it wasn't anything more serious than peeing in the dark.

That bottom image is gorgeous! Beckons us to adventure...

Working Mum said...

An eventful start! Hope your trip 'up North' gets better. Scarborough can be lovely if you get the weather (by that I mean, good weather of course)

Salute said...

Sounds like a great trip and hope u enjoyed it.

Dusty Spider said...

Glad to read you once again maggie. Sounds like the start of the holiday was quite eventful. It's a good job we can laugh at life isn't it. Hope the rest of the holiday was good for you. Flick x

Anonymous said...

Don't they have toilets on the coach? It's one of my worries not to have a toilet near by and be bursting at the seams.

CJ xx

Maggie May said...

gonebacksouth ...... good to be back blogging!

expatmum ..... so am I!

girlwith the mask ...... What a nice welcome!

swearing mother ...... its strange to think we might rub shoulders sometimes & be completely unaware of it.

aims .... maybe that's too subtle. maybe we should wear a big badge saying, "I am a blogger".

mean mom .... yes ... definitely more of a challenge.

San..... no it was only a flash in the pan..... oops! sorry!

working mum .......Yes, I liked Scarborough.

mae ..... thanks for coming my way!

flick ...... nice to see your photo!

crystal........ not out coach!

RiverPoet said...

You probably think I deserted you, but for some reason, your posts haven't been showing up in my blog reader (BlogLines), none of them! In ... I don't know how long. I'm resubscribing to see if that fixes the problem.

Peace - D

david mcmahon said...

What a memorable start to the trip!!

Carolyn said...

What a way to begin...! Looking forward to hearing the rest. Hope it brightens up from here on out.

Jules said...

Welcome back! Sound like you had a really "fun-filled" start to your hollies. I'm really looking forward to hearing about and seeing the rest of your trip.

Did you miss your Mac? I think I have withdrawals when I have to go to work each day. I'm wondering how I'm going to be when I have to go away on my holidays! Eep! said...

At least the weather was dry! I actually think that these little trials are what makes life really interesting. But I'm a known adenalin junky anyway!

SandyCarlson said...

What an adventure, Maggie!

Lindsay said...

You and several others have inspired me to start my own blog - still taking some very unsteady steps in setting it up!

Mima said...

What an escapade, and no choice but to got to the loo, but in the dark - creepy. Love the fact that you ended up making friends on the bus though!!

Maggie May said...

Momma ..... not quite sure what you mean but I have been commenting regularly on your post. Not very technically minded!

David M .... i will always remember it!

Carolyn ..... I expect I will write more sooner or later.

Jules........... I missed my Mac & my buddies more than I can say!

Retired & crazy ......... We had one wet day. Could have been worse.

Sandy Carson ........ Good of you to drop by!

Lindsay .... I am glad I am an inspiration to some one!!!!! Welcome to the land of blogging & especially to this blog!

Mima ....... yes we exchanged addresses with friends & I never do that with holiday friends.

Mya said...

So glad Harry was able to aim straight in the dark! What a palava.Hope Scarborough was good fun and the weather was kind.

Mya x

Unknown said...

Wow! it started with a bang alright, didn't it now? Can't wait to hear more, and that picture is so pretty!

Omykiss said...

A Scot named Jock! Oh dear! Don't trust a Scotsman on weather ... as long as it's not absolutely chucking it down, it's fine weather ... I'm Scottish, I should know ;)

Mrs. Fox said...

Isn't it wonderful how things going totally wrong can make a trip even better? I just love that.

Grit said...

excellent holiday material! reads like a true british experience!

Maggie May said...

Mya ....... I was jolly glad too!

Bina ....... glad you liked the picture which was very near to our hotel

Omykiss.... Well he was right about the weather! You are Scottish too!

Mrs Fox ... if it had all gone without incident then it wouldn't have made a post!

Grit........ truly British!

Suburbia said...

Oh Maggie that made me laugh especially about wishing you'd brought more trousers!!! Small Sprog is at that stage, well I thought it was a stage, perhaps it will never end!!
Hope your holiday didn't continue in the same vein and that you had a good time.

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