Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Worst. Luck. Ever.

Do you ever have those days where suddenly and inexplicably your life seems to have become that of a sitcom character with the worst luck in the entire world?

Yeah, last Friday was one of those days for me.

This will be long and meandering but hopefully amusing too, so bear with me!

I woke up, happy and excited for the Royal Highland Show that morning, then suddenly remembered that the results of the EU Referendum would be in. My good mood evaporated pretty sharpish when I realised that somehow, against all the odds and all good sense, the UK had voted out, and I still can’t quite wrap my head around that. I’m really genuinely angry about the results but to avoid putting a dampener on an otherwise hilariously unfortunate story, I’ll omit the details of my many facebook rants on the subject. Suffice to say, I’m not pleased.

 Following that, I got up, and headed for the bus. As I can’t get to the show directly, I have to get a bus into Glasgow, then another to the showground, but I’ve been doing it a few years now so I know the routine rather well. So, I stuck my hand out as my bus approached, stepped inside and confidently asked for the £1.95 fare into town. The driver gave me a dirty look and informed me that it was now £2.15, with an arrogance that really irked me – I don’t use the bus all that often these days so how was I to know the price had gone up?

Anyway, I got into town and headed straight for the #900 bus, arriving at the stance mere moments before it pulled away and drove off. That was fine, they’re fairly regular, and sure enough, ten minutes later another arrived and on I got, continuing my facebook rants and conversations until I realised I’d used up half the battery on my phone already, so I stopped a few minutes in, not wanting to drain it further. 

The journey of 38.3 miles from the bus depot to the showgrounds, according to the AA route planner website, should take approximately 45 minutes by bus.

It didn’t.

Congested traffic in the last few miles ground us to a near standstill, and we were on board for at least another hour and a bit before we even got our first glimpse of the showgrounds. I’d been through this once before in a previous year's show and it wasn’t as bad as then luckily, but still, time really drags when there’s nothing to distract you with other than the same hedge you'd been staring at out the window for five minutes. 

We finally pulled up next to the gate and everyone filed out, frantically pulling up hoods and opening umbrellas because of course it was raining. I thought I’d take advantage of the public conveniences nearby (there are very few toilets at the showground for some reason so if you see one, you really ought to use it as there’s no guarantee you’ll find another later on!) so after queuing for ten minutes just to get to the door, discovered that only two out of the three cubicles were functional and there was no water in the taps. Wonderful.

I met up with a couple of my friends, and we spent the rest of the day wandering around, photographing and fussing ponies of all kinds, and a great time was had by all. (I’ll post my usual big RHS reports very soon, after I’ve sorted out the photos and had some time to recover!)
The weather varied, at times wet and miserable, with a dark and foreboding sky, then five minutes later the sun came out and you couldn’t see for the brightness. Typical Scottish summer afternoon really. XD

Finally it was time to go home, so I said my goodbye and headed for the bus stop. Surprisingly the #900 arrived within a few minutes which was nice, as I usually end up waiting for ages. The journey home was uneventful and really rather pleasant, if I ignored the throbbing pain in my feet, shoulders and arms from standing and walking for the majority of the day, and the fact that because my battery was now very low, I wasn’t listening to any music so it would last longer. I did see a rainbow at one point, so there’s that I suppose.

We arrived back in Glasgow and this is where everything started to go properly wrong.

I didn’t fancy getting the bus home, as it involved walking up a steep hill at the other end, and I didn’t think my poor feet could take it, so I decided to get the train instead and get a taxi home or ask my Dad to pick me up. For those who don’t know, there are two main stations in the centre of Glasgow – Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central. Queen Street was closer to me after getting off the bus, but after a certain time in the evening, it doesn’t do through trains to Milngavie, where I wanted to go  -  I’d have to get another one and change at Partick. I was tired so didn’t want to bother with any of that and trudged glumly down the road to Central, where I knew I could get a Milngavie train with no changes.
I bought my ticket, went down the stairs and glanced at the latest arrivals on the screen, then panicked when I spotted that it was my train and was literally just about to leave. I legged it down the corridor, rushed down the stairs…just in time to watch my train pull away from the station.


The next one wasn’t for another twenty-odd minutes, so I waited and waited and waited. Meanwhile, the tanoy announced that the train before mine had been cancelled, due to signalling problems on the line. No problem, thought I, my train doesn’t go on that route…does it?

Eventually it arrived, I got on and all was well.

Well, except for the fact that we weren’t actually going anywhere.

The man on the tanoy came on again, apologising for the delay and stressing that it wouldn’t be long until we were on our way. That lasted approximately three minutes, as his next message was to tell us that sadly, due to signalling problems on the line, the train was now cancelled.

Excellent. Just peachy.

I now had to trek all the way back up Buchanan Street to get the bus again, accidentally taking the long way round because I was annoyed, which made me even more annoyed when I realised I'd walked further than I needed to. (it was also up a big hill, in case the walk wasn't annoying enough)
In hindsight, I probably should have got on a train at Queen Street but the way this evening was turning out, it would have probably gone horribly wrong somehow too.

I’d texted home earlier to let my parents know what was happening as they'd expected me home earlier, and as my plan had originally been to get a train to Milngavie and get a taxi home from the Tescos next to the station, I asked if they needed anything from the supermarket. We were low on milk, so that was included in the plan. Obviously, with the train cancellations, that plan fell by the wayside, until I remembered there was a Sainsburys’ at the top of Buchanan street. I could pop in, grab some milk and be on the bus home in no time.

Weary feet protesting every step, I made it to the top of the street and headed for the supermarket. I knew it would still be open as it didn’t close until 10pm and…oh.

It was now five past ten. No milk for me.

By this point I was rather understandably fed up. I was really tired and just wanted to get home as soon as possible. I made it to the bus stop, checked the timetable and brilliant, yet again I had missed one by literally five minutes, and because it was after ten at night, the buses were irregular, and the next one wasn’t for another half hour. There were no seats at that bus stop, nowhere to lean or take the weight off my feet, so I had to stand, once again for ages until it finally arrived. I’d forgotten about the change in bus fare by this point so had to deal with another grumpy bus driver, but it was okay, I was on the bus now, it was moving, I was going home!

At least I was, until it broke down ten minutes later.

I very nearly broke down too at this point, I just couldn’t believe my luck, or lack thereof.

At first I and the other passengers just thought it was pulling in at a bus stop but when it didn’t move off afterwards people started getting a little concerned. Everyone downstairs started getting out and suddenly the driver shouted for us all to leave as the bus had overheated or something.

So there’s me, nearly two hours after arriving back in Glasgow, about a mile down the road with no other public transport available, a phone with barely any battery left, sore feet and half a millimetre of patience left.

I managed to call a taxi before my phone eventually gave up the ghost, and finally, FINALLY got home, but jeez, you really couldn’t make it up. It was like everything that could have possibly gone wrong, went wrong and every time I thought I’d catch a break, something else happened.

Luckily the copious quantity of ponies made up for most of it, and I’ll be posting about it all today and tomorrow hopefully if I can get flickr to co-operate!

I have the Lake District Julip Live at the weekend and I still haven't packed anything up yet so this week is going to be pretty busy!


  1. I want to laugh because this is truly a "comedy of errors"! Focus on the good things -- you made it to the show and had a wonderful time and you eventually made it home! My life is full of stories similar to this, like the time I went on a business trip to Washington DC and ended up on the wrong flight and wrong airport!

    About Brexit, I feel for you and I just wonder how this came to the point of even being put to a vote! Like how in the h--- is Donald Trump a front runner in the Presidential elections here in the US? What are people thinking?

    1. Oooft, how'd you manage that?! XD Yeah, luckily I managed to see the funny side while it was all happening, though if I didn't have my sense of humour I'd have probably had a bit of a mental breakdown!

      Urgh, tell me about it! I want to say not to worry, that the American people won't be stupid enough to elect him, but considering what's just happened over here, I can't really talk!

  2. Ohhh Myyyyyyyy!!!!! I could only GASP at the series of unfortunate incidents that plagued you both coming and going. It was like your allotment of misfortunes had been banked and you cashed them all in, in one fell swoop- you Poor girl!
    I hope you had a nice cup of tea, when you got home (just to settle your nerves) and a hot foot bath so that your feet would eventually forgive you- but what a VERY FUNNY Story! :D


    1. I know, right?! I just hope I get a run of good luck soon to make up for it! XD

      My mum got me a washing up bowl full of hot water for my feet when I came in which was LOVELY!