It had been booked for ages. I was preparing for ages. Feats of such epic proportions need military like precision. It was the night before and my lift was arriving the next day at 8:15. I’d spent several hours packing my clothes, camera and ticket just so and attached them to the wheelchair. Perfect. What I didn’t count on was falling over in the space between the bed and the wheelchair and it taking me until 6:15 in the morning to get up again. We will investigate emergency call lines. Nevertheless, despite being bloodied and bruised I was at the station for 8:45. The shirt was hanging out, I had no tie and I was in tracksuit bottoms but I was there and that was how I was going to turn up at my brother’s wedding. Now was this an omen for the journey up there?
The train arrived and I was helped on. It didn’t even get to the next station:
“Southeastern apologise for the delay blah blah.” I had to change at Tonbridge for the slow train to Victoria. Now I’ve been mastering the choreography of the bus ramp shuffle. It’s been going well. But the London cab ramp reflects the city itself; steep, precarious and very very curt. Nicer aspects of London are also available. The driver was a hero.
But I missed the train to Liverpool. The girl at the Virgin enquiry desk was also a hero. That would be a great title for a novel. So I was on the later train. Wedding at 3:00, arrival time at 2:21=mad dash across Liverpool and through the tunnel to the church.
No time to preen oneself in front of a gorgeous mirror taking long cautious minutes to exude the air of je ne sais quoi.
Straight in with five minutes to spare. Straight back into my childhood and formative years. This was Seacombe United Reformed Church. It’s not the prettiest of buildings but I used to go to the youth club. It once had an old pipe organ. I used to play Strauss waltzes on it. And then there were the faces. It had been so long. The last two visits to the church were for funerals. But now it was a wedding. I had been waiting for something to lift the spirits or at least pour them into my glass. (Later).
In the bar was a coming together of old friends. With a lack of sleep and a weary journey I was struggling to put two words together. It was the brain fog. Short term memory and sequencing were throwing their dark cloud over my head. I was longing for a rest; somewhere to lay my aching head and recharge my soul. Was I? Well I couldn’t do that so I accepted my first drink of the day. Thank-you for reading.