Tuesday, 18 August 2009

In Which There are Trains, and Boats, and Beer

I spent the weekend with my sister, K and her partner C, sailing around in the Solent.

I had been hoping to finish early in court on Friday to be able to get a train as early as possible, and as I got back home after spending the morning in court I realised that it might just be possible to catch the train one hour earlier than originally planned – provided I could get back out of the house and down to the station within 20 minutes. Picture me (although maybe not in too much detail) galloping through the house, scattering clothes in all directions as I tried to change out of my work clothes (I am only a novice at this sailing malarkey, but I am fairly sure that a dress, suit jacket, heels and tights does not make the ideal sailing-wear), into casual clothes, feeding the cat, and all the other things you need to do before leaving the house. Fortunately I had remembered to pack everything the previous night.

I had not had time to have lunch so was planning to get a sandwich on the train and have a very late lunch. It turned out that they only had 2 sandwiches. One was prawn and the other egg mayonnaise – possibly the only two common sandwiches I cannot bear. (also, if you ask me, not the ideal choice for an un-refrigerated trolley on a train, in summer…) So I lunched on coffee and a flapjack, instead. It wasn’t the best lunch I’ve ever had.

The trip down involved 3 separate trains, and my mood improved as I travelled. The line between Southampton and Brockenhurst goes along through parts of the New Forest, so there are ponies and woodland and open moors to admire. And the final part of the journey, from Brockenhurst to Lymington was like going back in time.

I could hardly believe it when a train drew up – still sporting the old British Rail logo, and with slam doors, windows which open and (albeit only in the 1st Class carriage), compartments and a corridor!

As we trundled along I watched clouds of butterflies rising from the lilac along the side of the railway, disturbed, perhaps, by the sound of the train. The fields beyond were full of baby rabbits, and everything was drenched in sunshine.

Lymington Pier is perhaps one of the most attractive railway stations I have ever been to – it is the end of a single-track line, and (as the name suggests) really is a pier – half the platform is wooden planks above the water and you can wander off the train and straight on to the Isle of Wight ferry. Which I duly did.

I spent the crossing sitting up on the top, in the sunshine, watching the dozens of yachts and sailing dinghies and admiring the distant views of The Needles.

K & C met me on the quay in Yarmouth, which is a very attractive little town, and we were 100% successful in our subsequent quest for beer and food. We then caught the Harbour Taxi to get back out to the buoy on which Konni was moored., adding one extra form of transport to the days collection.


Dragonsally said...

I love trains with compartments. So much nicer to travel in than an open carriage.

Looking forward to hearing more about the weekend.

Siri said...

Yoinks!!!! What fun, and what a wonderful description.

I too await with baited.....