Another courier run

King's Cross Station departures board

The photo shows the departures board at King’s Cross station this morning at about 9:15 am. Where were we going? To get a clue look for the 9:45 train in the second column. (Click for a larger version.) The image could be clearer, I agree.

Tigger was off on another courier run and I went with her as I always do when I can. The firm sent us the package last night at about 11 pm. The courier had a job finding us and Tigger had to go out and find him wandering about cluelessly. Obviously not a professional like us!

Our destination was a business park some way out of the town (Cambridge, if you haven’t already worked it out) and had to be there by 12 noon. As the train journey from King’s Cross to Cambridge is only 45 minutes, we took the first available train after 9:30 am so that I could get a cheap day return. We could have had breakfast at home but instead walked down to King’s Cross and had breakfast served by our old friend Genghis at the cafe near the station.

I was worried that there might be long queues for tickets so we went to the ticket office first and were served in no time at all. When the time came to board the train, they played the usual trick on us: not announcing the platform until 6 minutes before departure time. It was platform 9, which is away from the central part of the station (where you have to stand to see the board), so, as you can imagine, there was a rush to get to and onto the train. I do wish they would show more consideration to travellers who, after all, pay a lot of money for their tickets.

View from the cafe

When we arrived at Cambridge, the sun was shining, a perfect day. It was only 10:30 so we had an hour and a half to reach our destination. We could have taken the bus, as Tigger had, as usual, done her research, but as the firm is happy to pay for a taxi, a taxi we took. By 10:53 the job was done and the day was ours!

St John's College gardens

To go back to town, we took the bus. It went by quite a circuitous way, which was good for sightseeing, but by the time we arrived, we were ready for a cup of tea. We chose a cafe (above) right beside the river with a pleasant view of ancient buildings.

St John's College gardens

Thus fortified, we went for a ramble. Cambridge is known for its ancient, beautiful and well-kept buildings with their lawns and gardens. The above view is of the gardens of St John’s College, I believe. I very much liked the way they had left areas of rough grass under the trees and beside the water full of flowers.

Moorhen in college gardens

There is a lot of water in Cambridge. This beautifies the city and also provides a habitat for water birds. I was charmed to see lots of moorhens around St John’s, some boldly foraging on the college lawns.

Red-shirted punter

People also use the water, of course. In Cambridge, a “punter” isn’t someone who bets money on racehorses but someone who goes boating in punts. This one seems perfectly dressed for the activity.

Tree in blossom

Despite the extreme variability of the weather in recent weeks, it seems that spring is definitely on the way. From the train we saw fields yellow with the flowers of oil rapeseed and in town we saw this tree in blossom in an enclosed garden, new colourful life making a poetic contrast with ancient weathered brick and stone.

Quiet corner

Cambridge is a busy town, what with the university colleges, a lively town centre and the inevitable flocks of tourists, but there can still be found quiet corners like this one.

After lunch, the clouds gathered and rain threatened. We explored a little further and went for a circuit on the free bus. After this we decided it was time to return home. We had a good day out and can’t wait for the next courier run!

Edited 18/04/08 for error correction.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Another courier run

  1. athinkingman says:

    We use the train from Kings Cross to Cambridge/King’s Lynn a lot. It usually leaves from Platform 9, though sometimes they change it just to keep you on your toes, and they always announce it at the last minute and there is always a mad rush for the platform and train. The last time I did this was before my recent heart-attack and the whole rush left me gasping on the train as we left the station. I really don’t understand why they always do it in this way. Presumably it wouldn’t hurt anyone to announce the platform in reasonable time so that the sick and immobile had chance to reach the right platform in good time.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    It’s especially a nuisance on long-distance trips where you have seat reservations. You then often have to make you way to the platform and then perhaps all the way down to the front of a long train.

    It possibly has something to do with traffic flows and allowing staff time to clean the trains and remove rubbish.

    I feel sorry for disabled people and folk with heavy luggage or with young children who get caught up in the unseemly dash to board the train.

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