Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Train Trauma

Yes, I exaggerate a little, but comparatively speaking, it was my most traumatic experience on the train.

If this was my first train trip, it would probably be my last! Luckily, the majority of my trips on QLD Rail have been extremely pleasant, which means that I always look forward to travelling on the train. I must have done this trip thirty times by now, if not more.

Firstly, today, when I joined the train, there was an older woman sitting in the seat next to mine, and on my seat, she had put food, magazines, her handbag, a cushion, a blanket, pens and paper. She was sound asleep.

Rather than wake her and then have to wait for ten minutes while she found homes for her crap, I noticed that the two seats directly across the aisle were empty, so I sat there instead. The conductor, who checked my ticket, told me that I could stay there for the duration of my journey.

The moment I sat down, I was harassed by a male child, perhaps 3yrs old, with green, runny, slimy snot all over his face and running down to his top lip. "Hullo!" he repeated in a very loud voice over and over and over again .. even after I had greeted him with my own smiling "hullo".

His father was on the phone mid conversation and literally demanded to know what station we were stopped at. I politely told him it was 'Cooroy' and at that moment decided to escape and go searching for the club car.

I was travelling on an old diesel train, so the club car was an old dining car, which suited me just fine. Large cubicles with big comfy padded seats and large tables to spread out my belongings.

I had to weave my way through four carriages of school children (bloody school holidays), none of whom were actually sitting in their seats, to reach it.

The dining car was relatively empty. A young 'Goth' girl in full garb was eating a hot meal at one table. A man in his early twenties was seated nearby enjoying a beer and three young girls, maybe in their late teens were sharing the last cubicle. One of these girls spent the entire trip to Gympie complaining loudly.

She complained about how slow the train was travelling, how late it was running (less than ten minutes by my watch), how uncomfortably crowded it was, how expensive the alcohol was at the kiosk ($8.50 for a bourbon and coke) and then when she'd finished finding fault with the train trip, she began, very loudly and very colourfully, relating the tales of woe that had befallen her since her day began.

I felt like she was channelling her mother. I felt like she enjoyed the drama that she was creating with her story telling. I felt such terrible negative energy coming from her every word.

Just as I was tempted to turn around and say ... JUST - SHUT - UP!!! ... she left the train at Gympie.

I'd only been on the train for 45 minutes and it felt like 4.5 hours!

Between Cooroy and Gympie, the train had made up so much time, that we had to wait at Gympie for eight minutes. The passengers were given permission to exit the train for a nicotine hit.

I must say, it's always pleasant to have a wave of people, wreaking of nicotine, board the train and sit in close proximity - NOT.

I returned to my seat before we left Gympie Station. I thought my luck had changed, because the man and his child were no longer in their seats, but alas, he was one of the smokers and soon returned with his loud, tired, sick little boy.

The boy was even louder than before. He was obviously very very tired. He began whinging and that developed into full blown bellowing, while his father remained perfectly calm and uttered "C'mon Axell (he spelled it out for the conductor earlier), you're wearing me out."

Suddenly, there was silence. Axell had fallen asleep on the floor under his father's feet.

Somebody, somewhere in my carriage, had a music box, which played 'happy birthday'. They continuously wound it up and let it play out til it got slower and slower and slower, then stopped, then started all over again. I know where I wanted to put that music box.

When the music stopped, the man sitting behind me whistled the same tune, just softly enough for me to hear. I know where I wanted to put the whistling man.

When we were still an hour from my stop, I noticed that I was in the third last seat on the entire train. I looked out the back and could see the rail tracks trailing behind us ...


I wondered if Adoring Husband would have coffee waiting in the car. He did last time.

We finally reached Maryborough. Less than half an hour til my stop.

The bottom of my seat detached itself from the frame so my butt was sliding and floating with every movement from me or the train.

I discovered that the people who were sitting in the seat before I arrived, were moved because they complained about Axell. Axell and his dad disembarked at Maryborough.

FINALLY, we reached my destination!!

Adoring Husband was waiting on the platform with a big smile on his dial, but no coffee in the car. It was ok though, because we drove straight to Foodworks and bought coffee and food.

Right now, I am sitting exactly where I want to be ... where, during my traumatic train trip, I imagined I would soon be relaxing. My lovely welcoming lounge room, on my comfy sofa, with my feet up, in front of my big TV, watching a favourite movie.

I've unpacked both of my bags and cooked dinner and opened my mail and inspected the new furniture and yelled at the dogs for attempting to jump on the new furniture. I am home :)

I hope that Vegan Chickie has had a pleasant journey home. She should be landing soon and then will still have a few hours before she reaches the comforts of her home. Welcome home lovely daughter. I know your family is very excited to be seeing you!

Nite all.


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