But not by train.
In October Mrs. Ha and I are going to Britain for a week. Via Helsinki. Well, it is cheap. I have an aunt celebrating her 80th birthday and we thought we would tag along for the jelly and blancmange. The choice on arriving in Heathrow was to hire a car or to try to use public transport.
The first shock was that the Paddington (Rip-off) Express in now £20-25. Each. One way. Gulp. If we wanted to go from Padders to Cardiff (in just over 2 hours) we could pay anything from £35 to £160+. Each. One way. If you think you can travel at a very off-peak time and are prepared to accept a “no refund under any circumstances” condition you can advance book for 35 quid. I think assuming we can get from HK to Paddington spot on time is a bit of a gamble. So the next cheapest ticket seemed to be £70+. Each. One way. You see we want to come back via all sorts of places – no about turn and all the way back. At this point it seems to be costing us as much to travel to Cardiff as it does to hire a car for a week. So we will fork out for a hire car and petrol and be environmentally unfriendly but flexible. Working out the ticket price permutations of a rail journey needs a PhD as far as I can tell and probably only people on expenses can afford to use the trains. I sense the British Government may need to rethink its long term strategic transport plan. If it has one. Getting people off the roads and onto public transport isn’t going to work at those prices.
Today was however a good day. It started off with Mrs. Ha worrying about a leaf on the dining room window. Yours Truly went to get rid off it and discovered it wasn’t a leaf but an uninvited guest.
As you can see he objected to the camera and fortuitously flew off and landed on a plant. Much more photogenic than the dining room window as a backdrop.
We then hot-footed it (by jalopy) to the club for a splendid lunch. When in the sub-tropics it is always good to eat the local food. I had bangers & mash. Mrs. Ha had the piece of cod that passeth all understanding. And then we nipped down to the club’s bowling alley and made fools of ourselves for 90 minutes. I top scored with a 115, which is awful. And so a rather eventful day passed off. For we retired folk it is good not to have too much excitement. I almost overdid it on the crème brûlée. That would have been dangerous. Safe now though. My only nagging doubt is where the Eudocima hypermnestra went. He was rather swish.