Monday, April 28, 2008

Sexy Trains and Committee Meetings

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.


Leatherdykeuk said...

It was a super gathering, and good to meet you at last :)

KAREN said...

I love travelling by train too, though I haven't done much for a while.

Sounds like a great time was had by all...I must join one of these groups so I can get to meet everyone!

HelenMH said...

Glad you had such a good time, honey x

hesitant scribe said...

It was wonderful - even though I was late, and didn't get to speak to half as many people as I'd wanted to!!!

I love trains too, except the old travel sickness was a bit too much for me this time ;-)

Lane said...

Letting the train take the strain is a luxury as long as there are no delays.
Looking at everyone's account of the day, it seems like it was pretty darn good! Glad you had a great time and hope there's a southerly meet soon.

Nice glossy Shuffle too:-)

Leigh said...

Leatherdykeuk - It was great to meet you too! What a lovely day, eh? Hope to see you at the next one! And get Dead Line out there - not that I'm nagging ;-)

Karen - I hardly ever get to go by train, and my last ride on an intercity was up to Newcastle for my uncle's funeral in 2000, so that wasn't such a great day...
Yes, I can really recommend a group like the novel racers. It's so inspiring to be part something like that. An all-in-together kind of feeling!

Helen - Thank you! I kept thinking you should have been there, though!

Hesitant Scribe - Hello! No, I found the same; we'll have to do it again! And trains will be fun again by then!

Lane - Virgin get such a bad press, but every service was bang on time, including the one I almost missed! Yes, had a great time, and am frantically saving up brownie points so that I can do it all again another time!

Jumbly Girl said...

Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all.

Now that you're back from your travels, I've tagged you for a little meme over at mine!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

It was great to meet you. Roll on the next time!

DK Leather said...

It was a real pleasure to meet you Leigh, I look forward to reading you and getting to know you a little better.

Hope to hook up again soon

~doffs cap~
DK x

L-Plate Author said...

I had a great time too Leigh, was fab to meet you.

And I was okay on the train journey once I had found Calistro and was sitting down. It took me a while to find her as even though I had seen a photo of her, the bloody train was packed to bursting and everyone started to look alike after a mad panic! x