Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 01/12/2012

Swing Low…


Lion, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

The gauge on the car dashboard reads zero as we head off for the station, a thick frost on the car in agreement with the cars temperature equipment. Wrapped up warm, I’m amazed I have to queue in a long line with other travellers all heading out early. The line moves fast and I’m soon up on the station, a hot coffee purchased to try and thaw out my cockles let alone warm them and only a short wait for the London bound train. Amazingly, there are passengers waiting alongside who are also enjoying a beverage, however there’s less milk or coffee I’m their drink of choice, in fact there isn’t any but there is water, fermented sugars, hops all wrapped up in an aluminium can. They have stronger constitutions than me.. or possibly a different outlook on life!

The train, powered by electricity supplied by a third rail, glides along despite the uneven track and were soon amongst the outer suburbs of the great metropolis of these fair isles (not to confused with fairisle, I wouldn’t want you jumpering to any conclusions!). Standing in the vestibule area I am a little concerned that the shoes I bought recently will not provide sufficient thermal insulation, as my feet are already cold… And I hate having cold feet.

We pass a park, a bulldog marching in front of its owner a frisbee held firmly in its jaw like some form of trophy. The buildings are increasing in height, the neatly trimmed gardens of detached houses having been replaced by carparks for the flats adjacent to the line.

And now the famous landmarks are becoming visible, first the by tower in the distance and the we pass battersea power station whose iconic chimneys were made globally recognisable by Pink Floyd. The landmarks are passing thick and fast, MI5 s headquarters having been amazingly restored after James bonds recent adventures. The brakes on the train engage and squeal like a lone banshee on a cold desolate night and the train comes to a standstill adjacent to platform 12 of Waterloo Station and we all pour out onto the concourse – a quick drink before it’s time to head off to Twickenham, and however excited everyone appears to have been so far, it’s nothing to the palpable exuberance within the packed tube train. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for my match report!

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