Monday, 17 December 2007


If you are a seasoned traveller who thinks nothing of hopping across the continent on your own, esp to have surgery where you hardly speak the language, you might want to skip this post, it will be boring :-)

St Pancras is all new and shiny:

I got on to Eurostar and was shocked how old and tatty the train was - just cos St Pancras is new, doesn't mean the trains are. And worse I had one of these seats in the corner of four, with a table; and worst of all, the ignorant goat opposite me decided that all the leg room under the table (heck and under my seat) was his. I could not move without hitting his knee (and he grinned at me a few times till I felt like spitting at him), and as soon as I thought I'd get slightly comfy he'd put one of his feet down on my toes, and expect me to move my foot. Where too? There is only so much space and he had huge legs and feet.

My departure board

I spent most of the journey cramped, looking out the window. (I wrapped a scarf round my head, makes me look less approachable, and thought he might stop catching my eye and grinning whenever his knee rubbed mine. It worked in that it stopped the grinning, but not the knees. Some people are soooo inconsiderate)

As the journey went on he got tireder, slid further down his seat till he was practically sitting on my lap; and no, I was no prepared to stick my legs out in between his knees to get comfy - it would not have been comfy - morally or physically.

His partner sat next to him, I nearly asked if I could change places, so he could squash her, not me; but chickened out. Next to me sat a slim, elegant, professional black lady - about late 20s? She had just as little leg space as me, as the Mrs Goat seemed to think the leg room was all hers too; but slim elegant lady next to me pulled her knees in and sat slimmly and calmly the whole journey, only moving once to answer her blackberry, and once to cross her legs.

Oh to be slim enough to fit into a Eurostar seat. Brought it home to me what this surgery is all about. . .you (I) get so used to be "large" that I've forgotten how it feels to be normal, and to fit into normal spaces (even tho we weren't being given "our" half of the available leg room. Slim elegant woman next to me didn't shuffle or scuffle or strain or twitch trying to get comfortable, she just sat and relaxed, while I inwardly groaned and whinged all the way to Brussels.
Oh to be slim and elegant and just normal sized - not to mention, oh for the confidence to say politely "Excuse me Old Goat, but your knees are hitting my seat, could you move out of my way?"

I wanted to get off the train kind of last so I'd get some photos of it, don't know if it shows here, but the seats were closer together than they are for my dh's commute from Kent to London every morning.

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