Yesterday was all about the trains. I mean, it wasn’t really, it was all about the teens first university interview in Manchester, but the reality was the trains.

It started at this time.

5.54 am


I don’t do that time of day. To be at a train station by this time involved my alarm going off at 5am, literally the middle of the night as far as I am concerned.

By 6 we were on train number one to Waterloo. You know how they have a quiet carriage and a posh carriage, well I think they should have a snoozy persons carriage, with low lighting and a pillow or two so you can have a bit of a nap after an early start – all that bright strip lighting is not snooze conducive.

By 9 we were crossing London by tube. There are a lot of people in London aren’t there, and they were ALL on our tube carriage I think. Grumpy, shovey, London work people and two tired, wide eyed grockles from a tiny West Country town having to fight our own way on.

From there another train. A Virgin train. Not a company I have ever travelled with before. Their trains are both more space age and slightly seventies at the same time, like the inside of a space shuttle as envisioned by Freddie Laker. They feel more claustrophobic due to the curved roof required by the overhead lines they rely on to move. They do have a little shop tho. I like a little shop and purchased a train shaped box of jelly beans for Syd.

And they have toilets with a sense of humour. Not only is the mirror emblazoned with the phrase with the words ‘Hey, Good Looking’, which is nice when you have sleepy face, but the voice over is comical. It’s starts with a list of the usual items you cannot flush down the bowl, but then continues the list with ‘unpaid bills, junk mail, you ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams and goldfish.’ I thought I was having a small aural hallucination due to the early start, but a second wee wee trip confirmed I had not imagined it.

We trundled into Manchester and into a cab to the university. A very nervous daughter went off for her group interview where they had to do a group discussion and then their own presentation. She isn’t sure how it went. She said she was so nervous her voice was shaky at times, she was happy with what she said (if not the wobbly vocal performance) and thought she got her passion for the profession (she wants to be a teacher) across, but thought that others in the room were very confident public speakers and she felt a bit drowned out by them at times. So we wait. Well, I say wait – she has three more interviews over the next fortnight, so she will be busy while she waits for the yes’s or nos to come tumbling into her inbox.


big wheel


Sadly our flying visit meant we only had time for a short bimble about the area around the train station before reboarding to go home. We saw the Christmas lights in the square around the big wheel though, and enough to remind her how much she had loved the city on our open day visit which had allowed more time to explore.

Then back into our metal tubes for another six and a half hours. Trying to get comfortable enough to snooze is impossible in such a confined space. Particularly when you have a teenager using your bosom as a pillow, still, it’s the first proper snuggle I have had from her in a few years so I suppose I should be grateful.

Dehydration from the recycled air con kicks in after a while and I crave water. I never crave water, there is neither caffeine nor sugar in it, generally I deem it pointless, but the dry atmosphere meant for once my body decided it was needed.

After a while I started to wonder if this was it, was I to spend the rest of eternity on trains? I started to compose a maudlin country song about it in my mind, with a chorus lamenting the unpleasantness of velour seat induced itchy arse, then forgot about it and watched crap TV on my tablet thing. Eventually we arrived at our home station. We greeted the ‘next station is…..’ With a cheer.


I would like to say I got home to chill out on the sofa a while before tumbling into bed, but a small poorly chap was still up, so I went from supportive mother of teenager, to snuggly mother of a small snotty chap in one swift move. Never ends this parenting lark does it!

 Love Miss Cisco XXX



  1. November 27, 2014 / 8:49 am

    Fingers crossed for your daughter. I know what you mean about train travel; I have travelled on trains a lot and it is the ONLY time I have ever felt dehydrated enough to crave water. I quite like Virgin trains actually; they have sockets to charge important things like hair straighteners (always useful when you have a 6 am start at the office) and mobile phones.
    rachelreallife recently posted…The Winter RomanceMy Profile

  2. November 27, 2014 / 9:31 am

    Oh I hear you -I hate the ridiculously early starts when we head to London, usually for hospital visits. We are not so far out, it shouldn’t require such crazy early starts but Greater Anglia were not voted the worst train company in the UK by accident…..
    Kate Thompson recently posted…5 Common Misconceptions about ChristmasMy Profile

  3. November 27, 2014 / 1:28 pm

    Wow what a long day. But lucky daughter having you going with her to support her. I hope it goes really well for her, I remember those days, the interviews are so intimidating but worth it all in the end! Best of luck.
    Globalmouse recently posted…I Cook It, Costa Brava, SpainMy Profile

  4. November 27, 2014 / 5:19 pm

    Hah! The sign on the mirror made me chuckle, heaven knows I look like death warmed up till mid-morning nearly ;P Sounds like a productive day and if the xmas lights in London are all they’re made out to be, then will I be totally wrong in saying it was a well worth, if sleep deprived jaunt?! 🙂
    Kanchan@ The Intrepid Misadventurer recently posted…Fog-Drenched Wild Ponies of the New Forest!My Profile

  5. November 27, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    Well done to your dd for going through with it. It’s such a nerve wracking experience but all good back building stuff … so glad I don’t have to do anything like that anymore!

  6. November 27, 2014 / 10:49 pm

    Sounds like a lovely trip together though. We love the voice over in the toilets too.

    Yeh about this parenting not ending – our son has started his UCAS form – deadline is tomorrow!
    Pinkoddy recently posted…Learning to drive: Then and NowMy Profile

  7. November 29, 2014 / 9:42 pm

    It sounds like an exhausting day! Good luck to your daughter and I hope your son is feeling better now. It never stop, does it? x

    • December 1, 2014 / 1:25 pm

      Ugh, we did on the open day!! Took us 7 hours there, only 4 and a half on the way back!

  8. December 7, 2014 / 2:24 pm

    Gosh! I’m dreading the whole uni thing as I have no clue, didn’t go myself. My Teen has just turned 16 and doing GCSE’s next summer so we have a few more years yet but it’s still another world of which I have no clue!! Hope you’re daughter gets the uni she wants! ps I love Virgin trains 🙂
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