Today I went for flying visit to the Big City. This summer I’ll be heading back to help out at the Keswick Convention (I missed it last year because of my mysterious foreign trip) and today was the training day, being held in London (which makes so much sense for a convention based in the Lake District), and since I was at work till 9.30 last night, and setting up for church at 9.15 tomorrow morning, the visit to the capital had to happen in a day.
So, I woke up at 04h30 (having woken every hour through the night because I was worried about sleeping through my alarm) and left the house at 05h00. I rode on a completely empty Metro, was mightly relieved, and thankful to the early-rising Costa staff, who provided me with a Flat White to brighten my morning, and at 06h00 the train rolled out of the station and across the Tyne.
The journey south was long, but brightened by a breakfast of porridge, and eavesdropping on the conversation going on at the table opposite me, in order to try and work out who my fellow travellers were – turns out, four girls who were members of a Middlesbrough-based Roller Derby team. Natch.
And then, arriving at King’s Cross, topping up my Commemorative Royal Wedding Oyster Card, and travelling to Borough on the Northern Line for a 10 o’clock start (and time to squeeze in another quick Flat White).
What followed was six hours of reunions with old friends, meetings with new friends, studying Ephesians together, and praying and planning for what’s to come.
And then, a lovely stroll in the sunshine, up to King’s Cross, sneaking onto the quick, Edinburgh train, and 2 hours and 37 minutes later, I was back in the decidedly un-sunny Toon.
Quick stop for something for my tea, and then a lovely chat to a fellow on the Metro home who had just run in the 150th Annual Blaydon Races. He was soaked from the rain, but had got a good time, and drank the bottle of Wylam Brewery beer that the runners are given as a finishing line prize.
And now, very ready for a slightly longer night’s sleep.
In summary: yes it is rainy here, but I’m still awfully glad to be home.