Thursday, October 31
Paddington station, 13:30
I got up at 5:00 to get the 95. I was early and it was late. I walked with my suitcase to Itäkeskus and caught the 519 to the airport. The flight was fine, I had an aisle seat and the middle seat was empty. I was in the front of the economy class and I was able to notice that the seats in the business class were exactly the same.
I got the Paddington Express and then waited for about three hours at Paddington station. As soon as I arrived I went to the ticket office and altered my return ticket. I will now be getting the 8:40 on Sunday, just in case engineering works on the line cause delays.
Now I am upstairs in a pub called The Mad Bishop and Bear where the staff are all dressed for Halloween. I have ordered a sausage sandwich for the first time in years. I like it a lot, having added lots of HP sauce in the proper manner. I accompany it with an orange juice and soda water, which is probably not quite as traditional.
Paddington is less like a themed retail park than other London stations but outside the pub there is still a lot of redesigning visible.
The train ride will be a nightmare. My seat will turn out to be triple-booked and I will spend most of the journey engaged in martial art combat to prevent other people with equally valid tickets from claiming it. When I get to Plymouth it will turn out that my ticket was valid only on October 18, so I will have some explaining to do before I can actually leave the station. My explanation? The system is fucked sir. The ticket inspector will agree and let me through.
The Ibis Plymouth will turn out to be highly recommendable. It is built like the Bates Motel, with chalets on stilts, and the staff are efficient and friendly. I will have a couple of beers and then decide to have a meal. The meal, chicken and leek pie and chips followed by an extravagant tart and ice cream will be fine.
I will retire to my room tired, have a hot bath, and fall asleep in seconds .