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The Big Smoke

My son is asleep on my lap. The man to my right is asleep and the man in front of me is listening to Ed Sheeran really loudly through his headphones. There’s a girl in a seat somewhere behind me talking on her phone telling someone about her less than satisfactory work situation – something to do with a woman named Anne. Today has been an adventure.

I met an old friend in London and took my eldest son with me. We went on trains that went above the ground and below the ground, saw dinosaurs (mostly dead) and bought overpriced food and snacks. But the adventure didn’t really start until we said goodbye to our friends and began the journey home.

On the underground at rush-hour, pushchair in one hand a four-year-old on the other, my son decided (understandably) that he couldn’t face the squeeze of the tube and started to panic. So we got off and went to the surface. Adlai quickly calmed down in the the relative fresh air of Central London. So an evening stroll across London to the overground station it was – how bad can it be?

Siri informed me that it was 2.4 miles bad. I had 34 minutes to do it in. I like running and figured we could still make it so we weaved through the commuters at an Olympic pace – all was going well until I checked my GPS again to discover we were heading in the wrong direction. Now I needed the power of Mo Farah to make my train… Despite my valiant attempts and encouragement from the not very sleepy Adlai, I didn’t make it.

Fortunately they have a bunch of trains heading the way we wanted to go and now I’m collapsed on a train heading north trying to summon the energy should we ever arrive at our destination. Adventure is tiring.


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