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There and Back Again
It's a long way to Snowdonia from Essex, or, at least it occasionally seems that way. I had cadged a lift to Nantlle (yes, that's how it's spelled on the buses as well as the local maps) with Nick, to whom much thanks, and this entailed a journey to Highgate by Tube, where we had a slight mix-up because Nick didn't know about the third entrance to the station. (No reason why he should, as he does not actually live in that area.) Because there were only two of us in the car, we'd both perhaps been a little more generous with the luggage than we ought to have been, especially as we both had far too many printouts...

However, all went swimmingly. We stopped at Llangollen to pick up some necessities (like booze and chocolate) and had a little wander around, for photographs...

The Dee from the bridge at Llangollen

Which, include, and especially for Nick, the rapids with their white-water kayaking gates...

Kayak Run, River Dee, Llangollen

However, this meant that it began to get dark before we got to our destination. Then it started to rain, very hard. And we began to get gusts of wind that must have been over 50mph. The roads by this time were winding and narrow and dark. We began to think we would not make it in time for dinner (at seven) or perhaps not at all if we encountered any more blasts while driving alongside a lake on one side and a cliff on t'other, with standing water on the road and an idiot parked on the lakeside with his (roadside) door wide open and 'im standing alongside it.

Finally, though, and all credit to Nick, we arrived at Triganos in one piece.

Coming back, the weather was perfectly reasonable. However, we had a deadline. Stefan had joined us in the car (which entailed some careful re-packing) and he had to be at Heathrow in time to catch his plane back to Sweden. All went well as we steered back through Wales and onto the motorways. However, we only became aware that the satnav had a M1 fixation when it steered us firmly past the the turning onto the M40. Though that cost us forty minutes or so of travel, we were lucky in that the queue in the roadworks on the M25 was clockwise, while we were going widdershins.

Nick dropped us both at Heathrow, as he was heading for South London, and I planned a journey across to Holborn via the Piccadilly line, and then on down the Central Line to Newbury Park. This would entail as little heaving of case and computer as possible, as I had been battling backache all week.

Ha! I'd phoned the TFL automatic information line (a number I know off by heart) and was aware that there were slight delays on the Picc because of problems on the Uxbridge branch. The Heathrow branch seemed fine as I boarded with almost no lifting and settled in to do some Sudokus.

We stopped.

There had been signalling problems at the other end of the line. Delays would be severe. It was very strongly suggested we decamp to the District Line. So we all get on the District Line, which was going to High Street Kensington, then to the other branch at Earl's Court. Of course, that line was one with engineering works on it, and nothing was going any further than Tower Hill. No Circle Line. No Hammersmith and City Line, no Jubilee Line from Waterloo to Stanmore... So I had a choice - get off at Victoria and go up to the ticket Hall and back down again (which did not appeal on the back front) or change at Embankment, where I had the choice of lugging the luggage down to the Bakerloo line or even deeper to the Northern Line, with a choice of Oxford Circus or TCR for the change. Oh joy!

I chose to go via Oxford Circus, which was, despite the fact you couldn't get onto the platform for the people trying to get off the platform, a Good Idea. I got on the fourth train, got a seat when people got up to get off at TCR, and made it home only about an hour after I might have normally expected to. What people who don't know the Tube as well as I do (I've only commuted for twenty odd years, after all) managed to make of it I really don't know. As for my originally chosen point of change, Holborn - well, the platforms had become so crowded that the Central Line wasn't stopping at all!

Home to steak and chips and a very, very excited puppy. Also to an episode of Merlin that plumbed new depths...

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Sorry you had such a crappy experience on the tube! But excited puppies...well, same here. OMG OMG! YOU CAME BACK!!!

BTW Lily apparently either disgraced herself or covered herself in glory, depending on one's perspective, by slipping her lead, bolting down the road and having a disastrous digestive episode...all over the doorstep of the 'victim' in Murder in Avalon. You couldn't make it up.

Yay! for Lily.

Psychic puppies strike again.

All hail Lily. :)

Splork! (Sound FX of coffee being exhaled all over keyboard through nose.) What a lark!

Oh dear, sorry you had a fraught end of journey. :( Nice photos.

Beautiful photos!

And glad you had a great trip (albeit w/an intersting return journey), and a great homecoming, and most especially your chance to see a wonderful ep of your favorite television program of all time! =)

and most especially your chance to see a wonderful ep of your favorite television program of all time! =)

Oh, thanks so much. [grin]

It's not yet the worst programme of all time, or even of the last six or seven years - for that it would be a toss up between (in chronological order) Strange, Bonekickers and Demons. All British made. [sigh]. I don't think we get the very worst of your drama, though.

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