Guest blog part 5: The final episode, by Sue (Anji’s mum)

Oh oh! Almost forgot that I hadn’t rounded off the week I’ve been guest blogging about so I’d better do that and then hand the reins back to Anji and let her get back on an even keel with blogging herself. (I’m sure she has lots to write about by now.)

I left things on a high note after we’d been to the Palace v City game and we still felt buoyed up the next morning but then it was time to come back down to earth and get ready to leave London for our return to the real world. We hadn’t been looking forward to travelling early as it meant negotiating the tail end of the rush hour and carrying/dragging our luggage through all the commuters on their way to work from the suburbs but, after quickly packing our bags and enjoying our last hotel breakfast, we were on our way. The walk to the station was uneventful and we were grateful for the (newly installed?) lifts down to the platform as the line is at a very low level and all the steps would have been quite a challenge. However, getting seats on the train was another matter and though the journey was less comfortable than we’d have liked, we arrived in central London and made our way to the coach station in good time for our 1030 departure only to find that it had been delayed so we had to hang around for quite a while.

Eventually, it was time to board our coach and the lady driver then explained that the delay had been due to her late arrival on her previous journey and the need for her statutory break before she was legally allowed to take charge of another vehicle. What a difference it makes when someone takes the trouble to communicate as we fully understood about keeping everyone safe! Our driver managed to make up the lost time so, after a shorter than anticipated break in Birmingham and a change of drivers, we were back in Chester at more or less the originally expected time (late afternoon). The coach itself wasn’t as comfortable as the one on the outward journey but it did the job and we certainly can’t complain about the fare charged so ‘Thank You’ National Express for getting us safely to London and back.

A short taxi ride soon had us home and we could then relax and enjoy our final evening together. We definitely didn’t fancy cooking so we decided on a Chinese takeaway for our meal and were then disappointed to find that our favourite Chinese restaurant had either closed down or was closed on a Monday. Undaunted, we resorted to a hastily-concocted Plan B and walked to the local Chinese Chippy to collect whatever was on offer there. It wasn’t quite the same but it sufficed and I’m sure the bottle of red we opened to go with it helped us to enjoy our meal while we relived our last few days and even managed a couple more recorded quiz programmes before giving in and going to bed. Anji was due to leave Chester on a lunchtime train next day so, thankfully, she was able to ignore her re-packing until the following morning.

Then it really was our very last day and, before I knew it, I was seeing Anji off at the station to make her way home in readiness for catching up with the family’s news and getting things straight in time to return to work the next day. I hope she’s well and truly recovered from all that travelling and the strange feeling of perpetual movement that was probably inevitable after so much climbing on and off all those buses, trains, coaches, etc..

So, it only leaves me to reiterate what a wonderful mother/daughter time it had all been, how much I’d enjoyed our shared experiences and how worthwhile had been all the planning, execution and expense associated with the project. Anji, I can’t thank you enough for making all the effort it involved and I’d like to put on record that I love you and love your company very much indeed. Here’s to next time! I’ll let you have your blog back now!

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