A Snowy Tale, a Train Ride and a Bus.
When I was 20, oh so many years ago, myself and three friends decided to spend Christmas holidays in Scotland. But not just any part of Scotland. Oh no. We choose to stay in Fort William, which is the town right next to Ben Nevis, which is the Highest Mountain / peak in the British Isles (U.K.)
We traveled by train as two of us worked for the railways and got free travel passes. It took us quite a long time but we happily enjoyed the journey, particularly as only I had been to Scotland before. They were all hoping for snow and I was hoping for Scottish whiskey.
Anyways, our holiday was mostly uneventful – pizza for Christmas dinner, too many awful films on TV and that was about the limit of our imagination.
Sadly for my friends, the weather was spring-like fine and sunny. (The whiskey was good though!)
Our train to get back home was leaving fairly early one morning, so not trusting the buses to run on time we ordered a taxi to collect us off the small hill where our holiday house was.
Did I mention that the weather was fine and sunny…
Well it was until the evening before we left.
We went to bed having seen the first few snow flakes start to flutter down, but we didn’t care.
After all, how much snow could fall in one short night.
The answer to that is quite a lot.
In the morning we waded with our cases through the drifts to the end of the street to wait for our taxi. We had ordered it and we jolly well expected it to arrive. We had a train to catch and no-one was allowed to get in our way.
We waited, and, waited.
One of our group, let’s call him Fred, had never seen much snow before so he was prancing around like a child in a toy shop while the rest of us looked at our watches and started to fret.
Just before we hit the panic button, around the corner came the sound of an engine. Yippee. Our taxi.
No. It wasn’t.
But it was a bus.
The unreliable bus.
We all climbed on and got to the station no problem.
Still with me… good. There is a point to all this waffle.
On the journey home, for safety reasons, we had to wait at every station until the snowplow train ahead of us had got to the next station. The journey took for ever and was made worse by the fact that for a large part of it the snowplow had cut a train shaped tunnel in the snow. We were totally wrapped in a white-out. Solid snow walls, that poured fine snow dust through the ill fitting windows.
But did I feel claustrophobic?
Darn right I did.
But I digress again…
We had a huge wait at one station (Rannoch Moor – which is being modeled by my mate here on the right on a good weather day). During the wait, Fred spent most of the time trying to persuade the guardsman to open a door so that he could see the wall of snow.
It was explained to him that the snow would most likely cave into the train when the doors opened, but he argued that an igloo stood up so why not this snow. This carried on for what seemed like ages – being trapped in the snow and almost out of whiskey and all.
Finally, another of our group flashed his railway workers pass at the guard and he relented. I think in honesty, like the rest of us, he was hoping the snow would fall on poor old Fred and shut him up. Fred did get a bit soggy, but the snow wall held well while everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed.
When I think of this I always think about the fact that somewhere, under all that snow, was a railway station, a platform and probably some benches. Not just hidden from view but being quietly crushed under the weight of the drifts.
Which now gets me thinking – when a piece of patio furniture is described as being ‘all-weather’, do they really, really mean it? Or is it just wishful thinking and a hope that your chairs will last for at least one winter?
Anyways, if you want the best durable wooden patio bench then you need something made of Cedar as this is the best, which leads me to the review link below.
(See, told you this post would be worth reading).
I’m now off to see if my family would like pizza for Christmas dinner. You’ve got to plan these things you know.
Bye for now