Taking the High Road: Zombies & Hounds

[Today I begin another of my occasional series of daily travel posts. This time I am taking the high road to the Scottish Highlands for a family get-together.]

I travelled on business for more than 20 years. To far-flung places. I once went all the was to Vladivostok for a 3-day project, on the strength of an an email from a client I’d never met. Travelling was second nature to me. But how quickly things change and we forget.I wake to waves of panic. I haven’t packed! I haven’t even written my packing list. I have emails to write, things to do. I will miss the train! Yet despite this, I arrive at Exeter St david’s with nearly 30 minutes to spare. Michael has long since ceased trying to cure me of my M25 syndrome – always allowing twice as much time as necessary for a journey in case of hold-ups and traffic jams.

The train is quiet and despite reservation tickets to the contrary, I have four seats and a table to myself. Plenty of time and space to carry on editing the novel. Which is why I spend the next two and a half hours playing Plants vs Zombies on the iPad. If you thought Angry Birds was addictive…

Having once had my suitcase stolen on a train from Reading to Exeter, I am reluctant to leave my luggage unattended and thus miss the chance to use the facilities before alighting at Birmingham New Street. I marvel at the newly-refurbished station with its sparkling concourse and totally miss, until it is too late, the fact that there are no toilets outside the barriers, apart from the disabled ones, which need a radar key. Sheila and I decamp in a huff and finally final a rest-room in the basement of a department store in the shopping centre. Thank you, Debenhams!

On TV, the weather forecast is dire, especially for the north of Scotland, where we are headed. We are relieved that Simeon is out of the room and misses it.

We plan an early night; 9pm is suggested. I make it to bed by 10.15pm after discovering the vicarious pleasure of Release The Hounds!

By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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