{13/02/2012}   Join me on my train journey …

I’m on a Network Southeast slow train from London to Folkestone.  I usually go by high speed train but today, to save a bit of money and because I was working in walking distance of Charing Cross, I took the slow train.  I’m going to share my journey with you.

Outside is grey, it’s been raining, most of the snow has gone.  I’m somewhere near Tonbridge.  The train is swaying a lot and it’s making me feel ever so slightly queasy.  We just passed a lake that I’m pretty sure this morning was noticeably frozen.  Now it’s only part frozen.

We’ve stopped at Tonbridge.  I’m hoping nobody sits at the four-seat area where I’m sitting because I’m taking over two seats and the entire table.  Phew, left alone.

This morning, I felt surprisingly cheerful, particularly considering I caught the train at 7.36am and it’s a Monday morning.  Now I feel a bit glum.  I am expecting to feel better when we get nearer Folkestone where there should be more snow …

We’re moving.  I can hear a young child jabbering away to herself.  There are mostly men in my part of the carriage.   Each one I can see is doing something different: reading a newspaper, texting or emailing on a mobile, listening to music through headphones and reading a really fat book.  I am writing this and looking out of the window now.  Bit of snow.  Definitely more this morning.

I am feeling disappointed that it will be dark by the time I get home.  Right now I’d like a bag of quavers and a mug of hot tea.

People round here have big gardens.  I’d like a big garden.  But I’d only really want a big garden if I had lots of time at home to garden and grow vegetables.

Lots of fields with young green shoots.  Where those fields were ploughed there is snow in grooves, but not much.

Now passing some 1960s or 1970s houses with white clapboard (I think) and brick.  They are familiar houses, there are estates like that everywhere.

It’s getting a bit darker, possibly more because it wants to rain than it’s getting dark.

Now passing brick semis, another estate.  Most of the houses have conservatories and quite big gardens.  These estates are also familiar.

Now at Paddock Wood.  I don’t know this area well but I never expect to see a Waitrose here.  I see some fancy cars in the carpark at the station though.  A Waitrose says a fair bit about a town, it means there are people with at least a bit of money living around here.  I like Waitrose, but I could and would never shop there regularly.  Anyway, I don’t live in a Waitrose town!

More estates, this time brick terraces.  And some kind of industrial buildings, a Network Rail training centre in fact.

Definitely less snow than I had hoped for.  And definitely getting darker and greyer.  Now there are trees and more fields and the odd big house or cluster of oasts.  I love oast houses, they are so Kent.

Poor blighters in the rear three carriages have just been told they’ll be getting a bus to proceed between Ashford and Minster due to a gas leak … wonder how that works.  Fingers crossed for no gas leaks between Ashford and Folkestone, I’m not feeling the love for rail replacement buses!

Bit faster now, still rocking about.  Fields, chickens, electricity pylons in a line, fields, trees, a river, just a tiny one mind you, more fields and trees, looks like a really big house in the distance, a small track, some more modern housing estates, all brick and bland with rows of different coloured garages, all fading.  Three snowmen in one garden.  We are at Marden.  Patches of snow on the platform, definitely a lot gone since this morning, pesky rain.

Off again, more modern identikit homes.  Now some old ones in a terrace, facing the railway line, although up a bank.  I bet that terrace is called “Railway Terrace”.  More trees, bit of a bank but now leveling out so seeing some detached houses, older ones, getting a bit faster, about 20 birds sitting in a tree together, sheep in a slightly snowy field, grey looking iced over pond, two big bungalows, more grey water, snow, trees, more grey water, snow and fields and a road beyond, a mobile home in what looks like farm land.  Definitely more snow …

I feel like I’m cheating by writing this, 500 words came easily!  I like that I can type fast!  We’re stopping at the next station, we’ll part company here, it’s Staplehurst.


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