After North Wales we hot-footed it down to Bournemouth via Euston and Waterloo. Perhaps not so surprising that the 9.30am Virgin Rail service out of Chester was packed to standing room only on a short train. We had reserved seats thankfully, but apparently no seats is normal for regular travellers, and at £86 each for a 2-hour one-way journey, that’s a pretty terrible and incredibly expensive service.
There’s a lot of grumbling here about train services up and down the country – now all privatised of course, with some lines barely able to run to the published timetable. And prices are widely variable depending on the time you book the ticket, with First Class sometimes cheaper than standard fares, but what you can bank on is how packed the train will be. On the train down to Bournemouth we had a group of likely lads, perhaps 16 or 17 years-old plonk themselves on the opposite seats. When the inspector arrived and asked them for their tickets they pretended to fumble around then when asked again, one of them said “you can’t ask to see our tickets, that’s discrimitry (sic)” – we had to chuckle, but given the inspector was a Sikh, that lame and blatantly racist argument didn’t really cut the mustard. They were chucked off the train.
We’ve spent a few lovely days with Mum, mostly at home, as the English Riviera isn’t ‘as advertised’ at the moment – overcast with heavy clouds and persistent rain. We managed to get out once whilst here, venturing down to the Pier where some rather brave (foolhardy perhaps) surfers were attempting to ride what passes for surf here. Not exactly the Mexican Pipeline and a far cry from the enormous waves we encountered in Mexico back in August.
Back to London this afternoon for a weekend of catch-ups, then on Monday we move into our Shoreditch warehouse for 2 weeks.