Yesterday evening this was me.
Trying to get out of London at 5pm with no train service.
(photo credit - BBC)
Which is bad enough..... but magnified somewhat if you are attempting to lug quite a lot of camera equipment with you at the same time.
So - instead of sitting comfortably on the 16.50 train from London Euston I eventually found a seat on the 21.30 coach from London Victoria.
Cold, tired, full of a desperation meal of fast-food and feeling rubbish I sat waiting, with a lot of other stranded commuters, on the floor of Victoria Coach Station. And, like everyone else, I was passing the time scrolling through my phone.
Just as the coach arrived I was on the BBC website reading about the lorry situation in Essex. One family of a young girl believed to be one of the victims had been in touch with Essex police desperate for news. It read:-
"Her family have shared texts she sent to her parents which translated read:
"I am really, really sorry, Mum and Dad, my trip to a foreign land has failed. I am dying, I can't breathe. I love you very much Mum and Dad. I am sorry, Mother."
As a mother myself I just could not imagine the utter desperation of receiving and reading that text from your child.
We pulled out of Victoria at quarter to 10. The roads were quiet and the pavements loud with Friday night laughter. The buildings were floodlit and it had been raining so the city lights were reflected off every wet surface.
And I remembered that I'd forgotten how beautiful London really is.
And that I'd forgotten how lucky we are to live here.
But I don't think I'll ever forget the girl who texted her Mum to tell her she was dying. And that she was sorry.
When all she really wanted to do was stand in a chaotic Euston station, in a foreign land.
And whinge about Network Rail with the rest of us.
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