NW is pacing the platform. “I didn’t see anything about engineering works online,” he frowns.

“Well, I assume track improvements don’t happen off the line,” I quip, hoisting my jeans up. NC has lost a shoe already and my left breast is agony as we have been waiting for a train for longer than it takes NG to choose breakfast cereal so NC has not had his mid morning snack. I am wearing maternity jeans as everything is in the wash and although it’s gratifying that they are now much too big for me, they are now MUCH TOO BIG FOR ME  and so the tummy bit keeps slithering down. And I haven’t had coffee.

“It’s coming! It’s coming!” shouts NG, beating her tiny arms against her raincoat (did I mention it was raining).

This was NW’s idea. “Let’s take the children to see the boats,” he’d suggested brightly. And because Kate had been in Portsmouth that day trying to pretend it didn’t matter that Ben Ainslie hadn’t been able to join in a big race, I’d said ‘yes’. But now the track improvements, chest ache, baggy tummy bit and gale have taken the idea down a notch.

“That one goes to London,” says NW.

“To see the dinosaurs? Can we go with it?” NG says hopefully.

“On it. Can we go on it,” I correct.

“Yes. Can we? CAN WE GO WITH IT DADDY?” NG’s bottom lip trembles. It’s a fair bet that tears are mixed in with the rain that lashes her eyelids.

NW turns to me. “We’d have to be quick.”

“Will it have a buffet car?”

“It’s a Sunday, so n … yes. Yes, it will definitely have a buffet car,” says NW, sensing the female members of his family slowly melting down.

The train on the opposite platform has now taken on holy grail proportions. I point the buggy decisively towards the footbridge and we break into a commendable trot. NW warms to the idea as he spots an empty table through the steamed up windows. NG hasn’t fallen over yet. We might just make it.

But on the homeward slope of the bridge, the train starts to slouch away.

“Wave to the driver,” NW says encouragingly, crouching next to his daughter. I am humbled and cheered by my husband and two year old’s ability to see the best in a bad situation and so, to even things up a bit, I give the train the two fingered salute as it cruises past.



Characters are abbreviated as follows:

NW – not William (husband and father)

NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and a half year old)

NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and four month old)

NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)


Rookie Mistakes


  1. January 12, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Gawd yes…I feel your pain (not the maternity jeans bit though, still a little snug..), but the grand plans to do a family adventure when it all just becomes a bit too hard! Great commuter face pic! #abitofeverything

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      January 21, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      The maternity jeans are getting snugger again 🙂 Thanks for the comment – yes; think my daughter has got ‘commuter face’ well and truly sorted.

  2. January 16, 2016 / 11:58 am

    These things always seam so much more fun when your planing them than actually being there. Trains in the rain is possibly not a good thing.
    Thanks for linking up, Tracey xx #abitofeverything

    • Didn't we almost Anmer Hall
      January 21, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Absolutely. Trains in the rain with no caffeine is a killer! Thanks for the linky introduction – loved being part of it.

  3. Suzanne King
    July 4, 2016 / 8:05 am

    I like your style of writing with its twist of humour in there. ☺

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