Ode to travel in London

The conference – which developed into a mini-conference – has finished. Ironic indeed that examiners travelling mostly over 24 hours from the other side of the world made it but the “local” English examiners were told to stay at home. They will assemble in about a month we are told. So, as last year, there were about 10 of us. Nice to be able to see each other and renew acquaintances, but it would be good to see our English colleagues again!

So this morning, hearing from Emily and Jonathan that they are not able to meet me in London in the conditions, I have set out for the delights of Waresley once more. Walk through snow and icy conditions to the Vauxhall underground to catch the Tube to Kings Cross. Halfway down the steps…..a sign to tell me that the station is closed, as is the Victoria tube line… Grit teeth and back up to the ice and snow…eventually find that there is a replacement bus service to Stockwell. Where the hell is Stockwell??!! ah…the Northern Line tube…a very helpful man looks at me sympathetically and tells me where I should be going etc…Arrival at Stockwell, buy ticket for Kings Cross, race down the escalators…find the correct platform..what is the speaker saying there?

(Editor’s Warning: photos below! My room in the Riverside Plaza, walk in the “black” forest, Waresley, sunset through the forest trees at 3.05!)

RIMG0089  Wow. What is open in London? It seems that most tube services are closed for engineering works today! The tube is packed, so you prise yourself with two suitcases into the car and hope that nobody pushes too hard – a little like the advert I used to see about train travel in Mumbai! People pushing, running, passing luggage etc…..


RIMG0093 Kings Cross Station – Cool! – thank goodness for a new station here. Very few steps and a long escalator!! I have booked tickets thank goodness, as the line is out the door at the ticket centre. Lots of travel disrupted in England still!! So in goes credit card – out comes two tickets. This is like magic!! Shouldn’t it ask me for a reference number? Did last time.. Who cares? GO!!


RIMG0094On to the main platform, wait for the train platform to come up on the boards and go for the good seat in the train. Plenty of room for my suitcase and a table for my laptop so here I am, window banging beside me whenever we go through a tunnel or have a train in the opposite direction. Still it is warm. I shall make it and David and his family will be there with yet another warm welcome.

Settle down now and read my Bebook – now which of these thousand books do I want to read?…..  🙂 No odes on here though!


About David Adlam

I am a conductor, composer, clarinettist and examiner for Trinity Guildhall working in Auckland, New Zealand and overseas
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