Saturday, September 1
Weston Station, 11:12
We got up and had another light breakfast: nothing cooked at all in my case. We finished packing, took the bags downstairs, and left them while we had a final walk down to the seafront.
The taxi arrived at 10:50 and we arrived at the station ten minutes later. We had booked seats in carriage C and so I asked a porter where we should stand. He didn’t know but explained that the train would arrived at about 11:12 and leave at about 11:30, so we would have plenty of time to find it.
We noticed that the station had two cafes: Off The Rails, a large bar, and Coco, a tiny coffee stall.
The train arrives, as promised, and sits for fifteen minutes in the station, while we walk right to the end to claim our seats. We have the carriage to ourselves.
It will fill up a little later, and an Italian will sit opposite talking at ear-splitting volume into his phone.
When we get to Paddington we will run straight into the dreaded “weekend closures” on the underground. How to get to Heathrow? I ask and discover that if we double the length of the journey we can do it with no problem.
The problems will start immediately. Irma’s ticket will refuse to let her in, and she will have to ask a guard to show her how to top it up.
The tube we get will involve changing at Piccadilly which will involve carrying the world’s heaviest suitcase up and down stairs. The tube from Piccadilly will stop en route to Heathrow with an apology from the driver that “unfortunately the train has been taken out of service at Northfields”.
We will wait for 11 minutes while Irma fumes. When we get on the next train Irma will have to step over a young Chinese man who has his legs stretched out, and he will stare at her in rage for the rest of the journey, photographing her and raging on social media.
Once we get to Heathrow things will swing back to something approaching normality. We will find ourselves on a half-empty plane that arrives in Helsinki on time.
We will get home to discover that Naa has left us a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge.