Saturday morning found me standing on the platform of Rugby station watching sexy Virgin trains (sleek, silver bullets with smoky windows). It was surreal. I could not equate the hoovering and toy-picking-up, which is my usual Saturday-morning pastime, with that railway smell, the feel of the wind, the hiss/whine/rumble of the trains. It was very exciting.
I love trains. I lived near a railway line as a child and the romance of travelling by rail has never left me. I'd always rather go by train than fly. That being said, south of London we have these horrid little electric jobs with double sliding doors and hard, hard seats. They stop everywhere, and are only marginally better than sitting on a rather boring fairground ride, only you don't have to keep hold of your candy floss.
But inter-city trains? Ooooh. North of Stafford we really picked up speed, thundering under the bridges and leaning into the corners. It was the closest I've been to riding a motorbike since I couldn't get into my leathers any more. We were going so fast that I half expected the guard to say, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we will shortly be beginning our descent into Crewe..."
The Novel-Racers' meet began a bit like a committee meeting, with fifteen of us sitting around a large square (black) table. It was only when someone suggested that, as no one had brought an agenda, perhaps we should get the drinks in. And so, we drank (varying amounts), we ate, but mostly we talked about writing. It was fab.
Six minutes hours later it was time to go home (although JJ and I managed to fit in a spot of shopping first). The ride home was equally enjoyable, although I had the added pleasure of my new (red) iPod Shuffle to gaze at, and the virtuous feeling of having bought a present for my babysitting sister too.