I had a lovely weekend in Devon with Onion-Soup Mate and FSA Boy and drank ever such a lot of cider! I didn’t even think that I liked cider, but then the last time I had it was in my friend’s bedroom in the late 90s and the brand was White Lightening!
My journey down was uneventful except for my change in Bristol where the Platform Person’s whistle nearly made me fall over. To cut a long story short, there I was, stood on the platform, a train to Cardiff waiting to depart, when suddenly a whistle blew, and I found myself crouched down gripping a railing, one hand clasped around my head, suitcase thrown one way, handbag the other. Seriously, this whistle was so loud I expected to see the Four Horsemen come riding in.
The woman with the whistle thought it was hilarious and I think a lot of the people on the train did, too!
Anyway, once there, we certainly packed a lot into the weekend. On Saturday morning we went to see the most haunted castle in England – there was an audio guide so Onion-Soup-Mate translated for me and together we learnt about Berry Pommeroy and it’s fairly tragic history. In the bottom of a turret that was dark, damp and eerie, we learnt of Margaret, who was imprisoned there and starved to death by her jealous sister – I tried to do a runner but OSM stopped me and we sat for a while wondering where her ghost was.
Growing impatient, I kind of ruined the mood by yelling ‘Margaret, Margaret!’ like Matt Lucas does in Little Britain!
There was also apparently a Blue Lady ghost whose presence meant death –so I kept my eyes shut when hearing about her!
On Sunday, we went to see Big Top and Little Top for lunch, which was lovely and delicious and I was very sad to leave for my train home. Had I known what lay ahead, I would have refused to leave.
I had booked a seat in the Quiet Coach, thinking I could have a nap, read and enjoy a restful atmosphere on my return to London.
*ha bloody ha
The quiet coach was rammed, with people who were sat in other people’s reserved seats – so there were shouting matches at every station. In the gangway stood a Spanish boy of about 10 who sang badly throughout the journey and to my left sat a 3 year old who had the loudest learning toy ever that kept emitting tinny music. Opposite her, sat her brother who was playing on a Nintendo DS and kept shrieking at it. Beside him sat their mother who didn’t seem to think there was any problem with the ruckus her children were making… in the QUIET COACH! I had to bite my tongue to prevent myself from standing up and screaming ‘SILENCE’ like some sort of demented newly-qualified teacher.
Across the gangway sat an man, whose expression of horror mirrored mine for much of the journey. If anything, I feel more sympathy for him, because I am deaf – and if the racket was that bad for me, I hate to imagine what it was like for him.