Tuesday, 23 April 2019

You've Only Yourself to Blame! (2)

The Last Bit Is Often the Worst!
It is good to know the layout of Edinburgh (formerly "Waverley") station, especially if you are in a hurry. An arrival 5 minutes late on their Crosscountry train (at 1610) would make getting to the 1615 to Glasgow Queen Street a challenge if you didn't know the way.

And you really need to know that this block of platforms, located in the gloom under Waverley Bridge ...
... requires you to move from an open station to barrier-protected departures.

But the fbbs were ready, clutching their tickets in hand, ready to nip through and hop on the ScotRail 1615.

Only in wasn't there. Expected 1619, said the display and, encouragingly at 1619, it arrived, disgorged its passengers and sat there; as a substantial crowd boarded, with the fbbs in the very front coach in preparation for a nippy exit at Glasgow.

A chum was monitoring the fbb itinerary on some piece of software which told you everything about the train and its signals. "Depart 2 mins late" came the txt as 1620 was passed!

The fbbs watched another train depart from 13; a man in a high-viz orange jacket wandered casually up to impart some gem of ferroequinological moment to the driver.

And still they all waited,
Departure was 9 minutes late, but the clever and prophetic system encouragingly (and farcically) suggested that the train would make up 6 minutes and be only three down at Glasgow. FAT CHANCE!

What the computer (and fbb) did not know was that the train that departed in front of the already delayed 1615 was a stopper to Dunblane. This meant that the 1615 would crawl behind it until it turned off northbound.
Now predicted 19 minutes late at Linlithgow, things are not looking at all good for connecting with the train to Largs.

But things were to get more awry as the train was now behind something else stopping on the way into Glasgow.
Despite optimism between Linlithgow and Polmont, the shiny new class 385 electric pulled to a halt in Glasgow at a peep before 1730, leaving the fbbs with 19 minutes to get across to Central Station.

The delay, passengers were told, was due to a signalling fault.

Pish, tush, twaddle and drivel.

A SMALL PART of the delay may have been caused by a signalling fault. MOST of the delay was caused by sheer incompetence and a lack of determination to get the 1615 going as soon as possible. VERY POOR.

And, of course, sending a slow yrain out in front of a fast one!

In view of the delay, which way to cross Glasgow?

Inter station bus?
There was conflicting information about where the stop might be and it would be the "long way round" via Buchanan bus station to get the Central. REJECTED.

Taxi? None obvious at the station exit (Queen Street is being rebuilt, remember?) REJECTED

Walk? Yes, but don't hurry. Catch the 1850 just over an hour later than scheduled - and use the time to stock up with essential comestibles from M&S at Central. Just chillax and arrive an hour late.

In fact your elderly wanderers caught the 1749 with one minute to spare; neither fbb nor Mrs fbb really understood how; but they did.

The Best Bit Is Getting There
The view from the flat window was as wonderful as from the previous establishment ...
... albeit a little misty on Saturday evening. But Sunday morning dawned bright and clear ...
... and, as usual, the lads were out (yes, on Easter Sunday!) emptying the bins ...
... and picking up litter.
Well done whatever council looks after Largs. The same lads were back early on Easter Monday.

Sunday was, of course, Easter Day service at St John's Church of Scotland (next door to the gaff) led by their newish (and youngish) minister ...
... and led with gusto. It was a powerful reminder of the truth of the resurrection; and the ability of the Gospel of Christ to change lives.

The Sri Lanka tragedy reminded all present that the self-same Gospel can easily bring opposition, persecution and huge challenges, just as Jesus said it would. (from Matthew Chapter 24)

“Then you will be arrested and handed over to be punished and be put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me. Many will give up their faith at that time; they will betray one another and hate one another. Then many false prophets will appear and fool many people. Such will be the spread of evil that many people's love will grow cold. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. And this Good News about the Kingdom will be preached through all the world for a witness to all people; and then the end will come."

We tend to forget that Heaven is a much better place than this corrupt and broken world; and that the real meaning of Easter is about "salvation" from sin and brokenness and the offer of a new living way to eternity through Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection.

We pray that those who have suffered loss will come to see the bright light ahead! May all of us "hold on to the end" whenever that might come.

 Next Holiday blog :Wednesday 24th April 


  1. Andrew Kleissner23 April 2019 at 07:06

    In Roath Park in Cardiff, the lads were out emptying the bins at 6.15am on Easter Sunday morning (I know, 'cos I woz there).

  2. Andrew Kleissner23 April 2019 at 14:09

    I had wondered why you couldn't have saved yourself the rush across town when you could have got a train direct to Central (via Shotts) ... until I looked at the timetable!

  3. Instead of giving the railway £322.80 and taking all day, you could have just driven. RAC routefinder says 8 hours plus breaks. Cost £110 return.

    1. Well firstly from a social consciousness perspective we should be encouraging using public transport (both reducing congestion & pollution). Secondly if FBB is anything like my similarly aged parents driving that distance is no longer an attractive or reasonable prospect, my parents find even half that distance a difficult prospect nowadays which even just a few years ago they did without concern or thought.