Jul. 31st, 2012 09:42 am
[personal profile] lizzydragon
A2 is on a train to London on her own... she is on a course every day this week and I took her down yesterday with the aim of showing her how to get there for the rest of the week. Before going down with me yesterday, she had been extremely nervous about the concept, but lots of conversations about landmarks that would help her get around... practicing reading the various timetables and finding maps for the walking parts of the route got her a bit happier, and the knowledge that there was an extra train if she missed the first one, and plenty of contingency time cheered her up a bit more.

So when we arrived at the station to drop her off, I nearly didn't go in with her.. Fortunately, she said that she wanted me to check which platform to leave from, and I walked in, to see lots of cancelled trains from Liverpool Street on the arrivals board and the train we were aiming for her to catch missing from the list. The backup train was listed, so I sent her through the barrier to the right platform - but then checked with the station staff - who were surprised it was listed at all - and then reported to me that it would be a bus service from North Essex onward... I therefore asked to be let through the barrier in order to tell A and suggest going via Kings Cross instead.

By the time I found her and explained the situation, the fast train to Kings Cross was leaving, but that at least meant I had time to check she knew which lines on the tube to look for, and how to get from the tube station to her course, (she asked whether I could come with her, but I'd parked my car in the short stay parking and would not have had time to move it or get a ticket in time, so had to refuse) so by the time her train left she was looking worried, but had all the information I hope she'll need... I've so far had two texts to check sensible things like arrival times and numbers of stops on the underground, and I'm now waiting hopefully for a phone call in about half an hour to say she has arrived...

(Update: She texted me from the above ground bit of the tube to say a lady on the train helped her find the right tube train, and so she was on her way to her destination, and another text to say she had arrived safely)

Date: 2012-07-31 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Good for sensible kid.

Date: 2012-07-31 09:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Indeed! I'm sure she'll do great on her own but if anything comes up and she needs a London contact we're here.

Date: 2012-07-31 10:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
She's arrived safely, so hopefully no need on this occasion, but thanks - I know you've helped out in the past!

Date: 2012-07-31 10:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Indeed, very sensible (on a good day) and I'd fortunately shown her a lot of the route (in reverse) as we came home yesterday,... but her scared face looking at me as the train left was a bit unsettling.

Date: 2012-07-31 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

When I was 13 / 14 I'd regularly be flying across continents on my own; this would necessitate taking a train to London and then to Victoria where there was a terminal in those days and then being whizzed on the bus to Heathrow and onto the plain; doing the reverse journey in return at the end of the hols. Admittedly, my elder sister who was at boarding school across the road broke me into it, and maybe it was a kinder time, but actually, they *can* do these things on their own, and you've done her an absolutely huge favour by letting her find that out, even if circumstance precipitated it.

Date: 2012-07-31 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Now that is a big trip...

She's returned happily, and has told me that she'd prefer to go via Kings Cross (and the underground) for the rest of the week (helped by the fact that following the painted yellow line from the Barbican underground station to the Barbican concert hall is easy and fun!)

On the other hand, I was getting rather concerned because she hadn't phoned at the end of her course to say which route she was planning to come home (I had the websites for both stations ready to check for any more cancellations)... After a while she replied to my text to say that she had already done the underground, was on the train to Cambridge and told me what time she would be arriving at the station!



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