What a week, eventful, but aren't they all?
A week I was really looking forward to and it didn't disapoint, although it didn't all go quite as planned.
I was working in Surbiton, those of you who are old enough to remember it becoming famous for "The Good Life" and self-sufficiency in Surbiton. Those of you not old enough, check it out on Youtube, if you can be bothered.
I decided to let the train take the strain for a change and left the car at the station. I'm not public transport's biggest fan, in fact I postively hate having to get on a bus and hardly ever do.
I've not worked in the London area for a while and was quite surprised that the day I was there the weather forecast was for the hottest day of the year so far with the possibility of the hottest day on record being achieved.
I was working in an air-condtioned room all day on Thursday, it was comfortable and plenty of and refreshments were provided. I made the effort to get outside at every break we had to experience what the real atmosphere was like after being in our little bubble. By the time 3pm came and I did this I walked out into what felt like somoene had turned on a huge hairdrier on the hottest setting outside! I've never felt heat like it in the UK and rarely as hot as that when I have been on holiday. It was 38 degrees C.
At the end of my training day I packed up my stuff and made my way to the station. There was a short journey by South West Trains then the Tube up to Kings Cross area where I was staying overnight. Boy it was hot, I was hot but I did my best to "chill" (hence the picture above). I decided to just take everything a lot slower than I would normally. I have no control over our weather nor what ever the trains are/are not doing so I just got on with making me as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Yes, I was hot and sticky but I knew that wouldn't last forever and there must be worse things in life.
Later in the evening when I had showered and was feeling more refreshed (physically) I went out to get a drink and some food. It was still about 34 degrees. I took a walk through Kings Cross Station which was in utter chaos. Almost every train was either delayed or cancelled and there were thousands of stranded people everywhere. I could have been one of those.
I popped into a favourite pub of mine and Gary's and ordered some liquid refreshment (got to keep up with that in the weather). I got talking to a few guys who had been stranded for the night as they couldn't get home. It was a great atmosphere. One told me he was probably going to sleep in his office but was quite relaxed about it all. Later he received a call from his boss who had found him a nice hotel for the night; good boss!
By the time I returned back to Yorkshire the trains were pretty much sorted. I had my seat booked but LNER kindly did send me a warning that my train would be busy as so many additional people were travelling who couldn't do so the previous day. I have been on some busy trains, as most of us have. I didn't bargain for how busy this could be. Every single available space (in addtion to the seats) was taken up with passengers: standing, sitting, kneeeling. Crammed in like sardines in a can. I felt claustrophobic as there was no exit route from my seat, but then, I did have seat.
There were some nice people (plus one I wasn't too keen on) nearby, which helped. I had some food with me but avoided drinking too much as getting to the toilet was not an easy option. In the end my train was delayed about 6 minutes. Very good under the circumstances.
In the last 10 months or so I have learned how to manage my stress more than any other time in my life. I'm an optimist at heart, always have been but some people and situations I did find very stressful, but then the victim of this is me. We always have a choice of how we react and behave to situations around us. I love life and want to enjoy as much of it as I possibly can.
Someone I used to know had a very positive calm attitude to stressful situations. When things went wrong she would say, "It's all right, no one died." I reflected on this and it does put things into perspective. She had a terrible tragedy in her life when her adult son took his own life. How do you cope with that? So terribly dreadful and yes, someone (her son) had died!
When I saw her I told her how sorry I was for her loss and gave her a hug. She told me her son had suffered with mental health problems for a long time and now he didn't any more. It was a release for him as his life was such an ordeal. I learned a lot from that lady that day.
I still learn so much from the people who I come into contact with in my work (and play). I love meeting new people, it's utterly fascinating.
We'll remember the weather we had this week for some time to come. I'll remember how I coped with it (chiiiiiiillllled).
Have a great week.