7.43am to Newark North Gate

Sometimes I fancy the drive to Lincoln. Just join the A1 and head south, going left at the A1(M) to M1 split and then turn off at the A57. Go straight on, through the toll bridge and then turn right at the traffic lights. That takes you right into the city centre.

There is a stretch of road between Scotch Corner and Wetherby, but once you pass the services it’s all systems go towards first the split, then Ferrybridge and the big industrial towers, then Doncaster and the M18, then the A57 turn. Can you tell I know the journey quite well?

For this reason, sometimes I fancy the train. All I have to do is get on and get off at the right time, which I’ve managed so far. Sitting in a partially empty coach, people watching, whilst tapping away on my iPad. I am writing this post as we trundle towards a rendezvous with Lincoln Central at 11.15am. As I sit on this smaller train I often marvel at how people are fully engaged in their own itinerary, which will be something entirely different and no less important if I were to travel in one year, two or five.

Unfortunately this mornings journey was anything but peaceful. A signalling error or points failure at Ouston near Chester-le-Street brought the whole show south of Newcastle to a lengthy and shuddering halt. Trains were cancelled, passengers shunted onto the one train (mine) that headed south towards London Kings Cross.

Naturally someone had taken my seat that was reserved for such reverie as I described above and I was kettled into a smaller, non-tabled seat near the train exit. Squashing my bag below my feet meant no room to unleash the iPad. I barely had room to put in my ear pods for some music. The barbarity of it.

My journey was made slightly better when I made conversation with a lady who joined the train at York. Her name was Jan Shortt and she is General Secretary of the Pension Convention. She gave me an update on her organisations campaign for a National Care Service. For a politico like me, it more than made up for the pain of losing my table seat and the hours delay.

As I sit on the train to Lincoln now, happily typing, all seems well. I could do this all the way to London. For the readers sake, you will be pleased my journey is almost at an end.

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