Training for the London marathon

Being Scottish can, at times, be useful.

This week I’ve been in London. Every time I come to this great city I always have difficulty with hotel accommodation and transport. The fact that I live on an island of 21 square miles and I can commute on my Vespa scooter for all of 15 minutes doesn’t help at all.

I had booked in at the Copthorne Hotel at Gatwick Airport after my sojourn to see the King of East Borneo (actually Roger Crombie in Eastbourne). The intention had been that I would nip up to Scotland for a football game, but I completely messed up the schedule, so didn’t go. Anyway, the hotel is rather nice and I’ve stayed there many times before.

Then the plan was to move into London for the rest of the time so I would be close by for my business meetings.

Then heritage kicked in.

The price differential between the Copthorne and the most economical place I could find in London was well over £100 ($160) per night. Hmmm.

The cost of a rail ticket between Copthorne and central London is about £20, which includes the underground ticket (the “Tube” as they say). The calculator wasn’t needed.

So I remained at the Copthorne. By now, you must be thinking that I’m getting a commission from the Copthorne. I’m not. But here’s the link to their website if you’re visiting this area (there’s another Copthorne close by called Copthorne Effingham – that’s not the one I stayed in). Also check Laterooms for deals.

So, hotel accommodation fixed. Now all I had to negotiate was the train network. Simple, right…?

A train ride into London – simple

A quick taxi ride to the local station – simple

A transfer to the Tube – simple

Getting back – priceless !!!!!!

I had to get early evening trains from London Victoria which, on the surface, at that time of day, should have been easy. Not so.

Londoners rarely finish at 5 pm and go home. So, alongside hundreds of other commuters, I climbed aboard the train. I realised I wouldn’t get a direct train back to me destination. No problem. Wrong.

The evening trains stop at every station in the world. Stations, 4 minutes apart, were visited, to let off 6 people. Then a repeat performance minutes later. “This journey could be long” I mused.

I am also fairly knowledgeable about the small country road network in this part of the world as well. So, I rapidly reached the conclusion that if, during the Second World War, Herr Hitler had somehow figured out how to get thousands of his troops across the English Channel, they would never have got much further than the Copthorne. They would have gone around in circles for weeks trying to figure out how to advance towards London. I think Mr. Churchill knew this, to be fair.

Anyway, there we are. I won’t deluge you with the daily deluges of rain – then 10 minutes later, bright sunshine. I just won’t.

Back to the sunshine

Bye, Bill

Quote of the week :-

It’s been Monday all week.


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