All went as planned. Tigger left for Paddington at about 7 am leaving me to have breakfast and get ready to leave in my turn.
I could go to Paddington by several different routes but in the end caught a bus to Kings Cross and took the tube. Leaving home at 8:15, I was in the midst of the rush hour. The tube train was crowded but there were no hold-ups and I reached Paddington with half an hour to spare.
I sat and watched the departure board until 9:15 and then went to Millie’s to buy coffee. “Sorry, sir. No coffee, only tea.” I seem to remember there was a similar problem another time. Grrr.
The platform for my train was now displayed so I went aboard. I have a reserved seat for the outward journey but not for the return as we don’t know at what time we will be travelling back – whenever we feel like it.Tigger sends me texts to let me know how she is doing. She is on time and early enough to travel to the client by bus instead of taking a cab.
She will not make it back to the station by the time I arrive but I will wait in the rather splendid buffet, called Bonaparte’s, until she makes it back. The coffee will make up for the damp squib at Millie’s.
While I am walking to the buffet, my phone rings. By the time I get my T-loop connected, the phone display shows “Two missed calls”. I assume these are from Tigger and call her back. With all the noise of the station I can hardly hear what she says.
I gather she is on her way and I go the the buffet to wait. I am still on the station side of the ticket barrier so Tigger will call me when she arrives.
While waiting I got into conversation with two lads who were on their way to Cardiff. One was asking people for change for a fiver so he could play the slot machines that he was sure were just about to pay out.
The other was trying to phone friends but the numbers were out of date because, as he explained, he’d been “away” for two years and was on his way to see “the probation” in Cardiff. They seemed a happy-go-lucky pair and missed one train through inattention.
When Tigger finally arrived, we set off aboard bus number 500. The intention was to visit Brunel’s famous ship, the SS Great Britain, but hunger intervened and we stopped for lunch at this “modern-style” Indian restaurant.
The area where the restaurant was sited was interesting so we went for an exploratory ramble. Here are some of the things we saw.