Thursday didn’t go as planned. I arrived at the hospital for my appointment with the Orthopaedic consultant and waited. After about half an hour one of the nurses wrote on a whiteboard that there was a waiting time of 60 minutes after appointment time. That was at 9.30am so goodness knows how behind they’s be for those with later appointments! Given that there were at least twenty people before me, and only one person had been called since I got there, I thought this was probably a conservative estimate and the receptionist agreed. As I had a train to catch later in the morning, I rebooked he appointment for the following week.
Picking up my suitcase from home, I had time for a quick cup of coffee before husband gave me a lift to the station. I went inside to buy my ticket only to be told that the train had been cancelled. With no alternative but to wait for the next one, I sent a text to Daughter to let her know that I’d be late meeting her in Birmingham. Had I been catching the train from Birmingham to Milton Keynes as originally planned I’d have missed my connection. A brief aside – cost of ticket for 40 minute journey from local station to Birmingham £5.90. Total cost if I had gone from local station to Birmingham and then changed to the train to Milton Keynes (over 2 hours) £6.00 !
Arriving in Birmingham I received a text from Daughter and guess what…her meeting was running late! After a lengthy (and chilly) wait at the station, we finally got together. Deciding that rather than have lunch we’d go straight to Bedfordshire, so we walked to the car park, passing the city library – not every ones cup of tea architecturally but certainly a noticeable landmark, and rather stunning inside.There is a lovely roof garden where they grow vegetables, and it has panoramic views of the city. In front of it is a huge water feature. You can see how the library is reflected in the water.
In common with most major cities, there is constant building work going on but it is making it a more attractive place. Another feature which raises some eyebrows is the piece of artwork The River by Dhruva Mistry which won an international design competition. Referred to by the locals as ‘The floozie in the jacuzzi’ it’s one of those love it or hate it pieces. A few years after it was positioned, it began to leak and instead of being repaired was filled with plants. Nevertheless the name remains but it was announced last month that after six years there is now funding available to get the fountain working again.
After a lovely couple of days with Daughter, her partner and little girl, I caught the train from Milton Keynes (about 25 minutes from Daughter’s home) to Birmingham. The journey was uneventful, and on time, but it might not have been since I had received an email early that morning to say that there were train delays of up to two hours! It even mentioned that National Express coaches may be substituted. Maybe I’ll review my decision not to drive to Bedfordshire in future.