Monday, 1 August 2011

Rockets, Coaches And Trains

The great thing about living close to the train station and just one stop along from the big city is the ease of hopping on and getting where you’re going quickly. On a train you generally don’t have to fold the buggy down and the wee one can run around if required or at least sit at a table and play games.

Going the fifteen miles by bus would be more of a chore. You’d have to fold the buggy and stow it. The bairn would have to sit tight in a cramped seat with minimal views for forty minutes rather than fifteen.

However, today’s coach ride into the big city still felt like a great adventure rather than the let down my old man mind had automatically started to program.

The train was cancelled for no apparent reason and the replacement coach was pretty full but TWMBO really enjoyed herself, especially when the coach went round a roundabout causing her to veer out into the aisle. I may have exaggerated this effect for maximum amusement.

TWMBO was slightly confused that our journey didn’t involve any tunnels. I tried explaining the train goes under the road so the coach goes over rather than through the tunnels. She looked at me as if I were mad.
The day of drama didn’t end there. Oh no. Our non-tunnelling wildly-veering coach ride came to a sudden halt just short of Inverness train station. Somebody’s Merc had burst in flames on Millburn Road and we were all ushered out onto the street to fend for ourselves.

We hooked up with Glan (that’s how TWMBO pronounces Gran) and made our way to an even more exciting mode of transport than a replacement coach or a burning hatchback. (By the way, why are they called replacement coaches when of course they’re replacement trains?) A rocket ship to the moon!

It was a bit of kids theatre at Eden Court and it was brilliant. Mind you, some of the little ’uns in the audience burst into tears when the alien rocket pilots arrived. It made me think of those daft mascots you get in “family” restaurants and similar places. Some poor student in a seven foot bear costume - just what little kiddies want to make them smile.

The kids had to wear special space jackets (high vis waistcoats) and were showered with sherbet flying saucers and wobbly spacecraft shaped jelly. We sang a rap about the solar system. I very much approved of the correct proportions of the different beach balls produced that represented the eight planets. Most people fail to appreciate how enormous Jupiter is compared to Earth. And I was pleased they included Baby Pluto but pointed out it’s not really a planet.

We then re-entered the real world and sauntered back towards the train station along the riverside in Inverness with TWMBO occasionally stopping and asking complicated and undecipherable questions about the moon and aliens.

I noticed some new signs by the Ness Bridge showing different walking routes and giving distances in time. “Eden Court 4 mins” one said. Hmm. Not if you’re pushing a buggy or waiting for a straggling toddler, I thought! But you’d get there in just 2 mins in a rocket…

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