Mum had been talking about wanting to visit Windsor Castle for a while and so I decided to book train tickets and a cheap overnight stopover at the local Travelodge. The day of the long awaited trip started early for me, I was awake at 4:30 am and already starting to feel a little on edge. I dozed on and off until the alarm went off.
Getting ready and packing a few things my tummy was doing somersaults, they eased when Mum arrived and we were on our way to the station. The clock did that weird thing where you look at it and you have loads of time and then look again and you are panicking that you are going to miss the train. We bought bottles of water, then wondered about a paper but decided to head for the platform………we then waited ten minutes for the train.
On the train we are in a queue as people try to find seats, I’ve reserved us seats so I am at least not worrying about that. As I spot our seats the man in the row behind picks up a paper bag (someone had left their rubbish on his seat) and as he swings it up in the air to put it on the luggage rack the contents spill out. We watch in horror as our seats and the table are covered in a brown liquid and bits of pasty are scattered everywhere. He is really embarrassed and apologetic, the passenger already sitting at the table starts to worry about his papers (we are on the train to London and there are a lot of suits). There is a scrabble about for tissues, in the end we give up and sit opposite each other, while I look longingly at the window seat I had reserved but no longer wanted to sit in!
The rest of the journey goes without incident….well it did once I realised I had booked the quiet carriage and the pointed coughing around us made me look up and see the banner along the window. I point it out to Mum and so we have to resort to wry looks and signals rather than the “we’re on holiday, on a train” jolly conversation. I had my Crochet to occupy me and Mum wished we had bought the newspaper after all.
The dreaded change at Reading went really well and once again I am left thinking why do I get myself in such a tiz about things, only to find they go smoothly. Slough station was very cold with a biting wind blowing across the platform, then we were on the short ride to Windsor Central. We spot the Castle from the train and start to get a little excited that our adventure was actually coming to life.
We stop for a cup of tea before heading to the Castle. We talk about our journey and can’t believe how lucky we were that we hadn’t sat down before the pasty incident occurred. We were traveling very light, so to be covered in pasty at the start would have been a nightmare.
I do a lot of “what if” and I had been thinking about the journey and my choice of seats facing the way of travel. As you can probably tell I don’t catch many trains. I felt a bit unsecured because I didn’t have a seatbelt and then I thought if the train crashed the man opposite would just sink further into his seat and probably think to himself “wow that was close, so glad I was facing this way”, then he would look up and see me heading towards him. “Oh f@&£, Oh f@£&!” We would both be thinking the same thing and then I would get abruptly stopped by the table which would cut into my tummy and, being vertically challenged, I would probably head butt the table! Mum and I were giggling and adding to my story, just relieved that the journey wasn’t that bad.
When we get outside it’s raining, so we head straight up to the Castle. The State Apartments were closed but we decide to go for it because there was an exhibition of photos and it was the last day to see them. We had a look around but it’s cold and wet, so we decide to make the most of their offer of a free Annual Pass and get our tickets stamped so we can try again the next day.
We find the Travelodge which was comfortable and clean. We had dinner and decided to explore more the next day….
The next day looking out the window the sky is blue and the sun is shining. Mum is up before me and so gets in the shower first, I lay in bed trying to wake up. I am listening to some bumps and noises coming from the bathroom but no shouts so I guess Mum is OK. Next thing she appears all flustered “I can’t get the shower to switch off” I go and have a look, it is a fixed shower head with a mixer tap on the bath below. Not wanting to get wet I reach in and try turning a tap, it changes the temperature. I reach further for the furthest away tap, give it a twist and the water starts coming out the tap into the bath. Uh? I twist it again and it comes out of the shower head above me! Eh? Then I spot a bump on the tap, I twist so that lines up with the top of the mixer and the water stops flowing, phew! We certainly have some giggles and adventures.
We are at the Castle with everyone else waiting for it to open. They have the really good audio guides, you pick a language and dial in the numbers that match a sign around the Castle and it tells you all about the area you are standing in. Looks like a remote control, brilliant idea.
We explored the rest of the town and more cups of tea were consumed, we found a lovely patisserie with Cuckoo Clocks in a row on one wall all set to slightly different times, so they would Cuckoo at different times over a ten minute period. No good if you are clock watching for your train home though.