Foggy Adventures Part 1


It’s no use. I’ve tried my hardest to hold on but my bladder really doesn’t like me after subjecting it to 4 difficult pregnancies, and I waddle-dash to the nearest train loo. Doing my best impression of a drunken hummingbird, I precariously hover over the toilet bowl attempting to avoid such activities as a-falling over, b-touching anything and c-losing focus on my aim. Oh, and all this while staying a safe enough distance from aforementioned toilet bowl to escape magical blue loo juice backsplash.

A comedy experience all round, I congratulate myself on the incredible quad strength I never knew I had before endeavouring to flush with my elbow. In the nick of time I remember the golden rule: ‘Please do not flush the toilet while the train is stationary.’ I’m not normally a rules kind of girl, but fear of emptying the contents of my bladder all over a busy station floor keeps me in line. I hold off flushing and wait patiently for what seems like an eternity as broken tannoy announcements float under the door (something about ‘delay’ ‘apologies’ ‘SW trains’ and ‘inevitable’), at last resuming the toilet-surf-stance as the train pulls away and it’s finally safe to flush.

Elbow employed, I watch in horror as, instead of swallowing it down to be safely disposed of, the bowl spews up in epic fashion the entire contents of the day. I do my best ninja wall-climb, anticipating spillage (let’s face it, I have enough poo-shoes to clean at home) but breathe a huge sigh of relief as the backwash stops just before the critical overslop line. Gagging on the stench- think rat’s arse with a hint of death- I turn my attention to hand washing, all the while keeping a wary eye on the toilet bowl in case of unexpected rough track patches. Pumping the soap furiously, I lather up as if my life depended on it (right now it actually might) and press down hard with my foot to release the water. The tap lets out a couple of belches, and I press again, silently doing a rain dance prayer in a vain and desperate attempt to persuade God that I really do NEED water right now. Again, nothing. Seriously, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
Thinking quickly I admit defeat and opt for a hasty retreat to track down some tissue since using the last toilet roll approximately, ooh, 17 minutes ago now. The door hisses hideously as it slides back, and I meet my public, a huge queue of hopping mad people in need of relief. Oh. My. Gosh. Elbow deep in soap and cheeks ablaze with embarrassment, I mutter some unintelligible remark about the toilet being blocked and shamefacedly hurry back to my seat in the vain hope I don’t see any of them again. Ever.
After a couple of minutes my fellow carriage mates one by one and unapologetically retreat as the noxious smell of sewage and cheap soap pervades the space like a fart in a car. Silently grateful for the peace, I do a quick reccy to check I am in fact alone, before wiping my still soapy arms on the adjacent seat. Probably the cleanest it’s ever been.
Hearing the glorious announcement ‘Dorchester South’ we arrive at my destination and the train spits me out disdainfully in exchange for some smart London suits, not the types who’d be getting themselves into toilet shenanigans anytime soon.

Craziness over, I find my mate J waiting in the car park and we set off on our Cornwall adventure. A late Christmas pressie courtesy of Groupon, and a well earned LIE-IN (can you tell how excited that makes me?) whilst my lovely hubby takes over the kiddies for a whole weekend. Thanks S, I love you.

The journey is running smoothly as a baby’s bum until we hit a thick patch of fog about halfway. Little do I know epic occurrence number two of the day is seconds away. The fog is pretty thick and we can barely see the car in front as we crawl along the outside lane of the dual carriageway. It suddenly becomes clear that the two lanes are about to merge into one, but the fog obscures any sense of how much road is left before that actually happens. J thinks on her feet, glances at the HGV to our left and does what any good driver in her position would do. She puts her foot down. Hard. Lorry boy honks loudly as Little does her best to outrun Large and reach the single lane first. It’s tense. Time slows down as I look out of my window to see an approximate inch gap between us and the HGV and the headlines flash through my mind. ‘Tragic duo killed in girl racer stunt crash’ or ‘Cornwall trip ends in carnage’ Just to clarify, J is the most unlikely candidate to be labelled a girl racer. You know the phrase, ‘Trust me, I’m a doctor?’ Well the responsibility her job carries easily equates to the pressure of lifesaving (but it's top secret- if I told you what she did, I'd have to kill you).
Time speeds up again and we screech into the single lane with seconds to spare. Nothing like a near-death experience to liven up a long-distance journey. I assure J she can stop apologising and convince her that I’m no more psychologically scarred than before the car journey, but Mr HGV is not quite so forgiving. He spends the next 20 minutes quenching his vengeful wrath by flashing his lights up our rear, and honking loudly. Eventually we lose him, and the fog lifts as quickly as it came to reveal a clear view straight ahead into the beautiful starlit west country.

Welcome to Cornish-land.


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