Off I went to the information desk to find out when the next available train was to my local station & was told it was at 22:15 & I would need to change at Bristol Temple Meads to catch a connecting train that would get in to my station at 01:15.
I arrive at Bristol Temple Meads, ask what platform the train goes from only to be told "Sorry love. This is the last train of the night. The next train is at 06:15 tomorrow morning"
I sat in the waiting room of Bristol Temple Meads Station with a long night ahead. I tried calling a a taxi company & was told the journey home would cost £90.00.
I had £15.00 cash on me so that was out of the question.
Two friends who could have helped me out were not available (considering it was 1am in the morning that is not surprising).
Just when I thought it couldn't get worse, the waiting room door flew open & I was told I had to leave by a very grumpy station worker.
Conversation as follows;
Grumpy Station Man - "We're locking up now. You need to get going"
GND proceeds to explain her problem & asks if there is either a 24hr greasy spoon/supermarket etc nearby or failing that, a police station that might be open?
G.S.M "No. not at this time of night. We're closing in 5 minutes so you need to be gone by then"
GND "Fine. *sarcasm on* Thanks so much for your incredibly helpful advice *sarcasm off*
I make my way out of the station & luckily, bump in to a very helpful Station Worker who tells me that there is a 24hr ASDA a matter of 10 minutes taxi ride away & a taxi rank just to the side of the station.
Thanking my lucky stars I go & join the queue for the taxi rank & when it comes to my turn, get a taxi with a very helpful driver who not only was astonished at the attitude of the one station worker but also waited outside ASDA for me to make sure that the Manager would let me stay in their 24hr cafe.
The Manager of the 24hr ASDA was incredibly nice & made sure I was OK sat in the corner of their canteen.
Five hours later & I found myself with yet another very nice taxi man who wished me a very safe journey & knocked a couple of pounds off of my taxi ride as I had £4.00 on me at that point.
I got on my train & managed to get to my station. Thinking I was safely home & dry I went to exit the the carriage only to be nearly knocked off my feet by an extremely rude middle-aged man who despite clearly being able to see I was about to exit the train, barged on to the carriage with his case meaning that when I got my feet & wits back again, the doors were closing & my bag got squashed in the automatic door, delaying the train by five minutes & leaving me with a very nearly squashed & broken riding whip.
Five minutes later I was home & safe but greeted by my mum telling me not to be so damn stupid next time! Erm, stupidity would be leaving 15 minutes for a 15 minute tube journey, not allowing 30 minutes for any delays!
I was awake, in total, for 39 hours as by the time I got home, I'd gone completely past the stage of tiredness & my body was on autopilot & quite wired.
To the man at Paddington who gave me the wrong information; I appreciate that English is a difficult language to learn & you are probably doing your best but if you are going to work in a position that requires you to advise people on journeys then it may be best you re-think your career.
To the Grumpy Station Man; I realise it was partially my own ditziness that got me in to the above mess but you really do not need to be so rude to somebody who is obviously in a bit of a trouble & quite upset at realising they may have to be sat on the streets all night. Particularly as they are female, young & slight.
A bit of good old fashioned advice goes a long way.
To the lovely & very helpful station worker; You won't ever know how relieved I felt at your information & directions & the fact that your few kind words went a long way in a stressful situation.
To the lovely taxi driver; Thank you for being a gentleman & raising a smile when all I felt like doing was having a little cry.
To the 24hr ASDA manger; Thank you too for being a gentleman & allowing me to doss in your canteen for the night. I have sent a letter of thanks to you.
To the kind taxi driver who knocked a bit off of my fair; Thanks for not making me feel worse than I already felt & thank you for your kindness.
To the bad mannered middle-aged man; I hope if you have a wife, sister, mother or daughter, that nobody ever treats them with the disrespect & blatant bad manners that you treated me with. And if they do, & you find out about it, that you have the good grace to remember what you did & feel ashamed of yourself.
Nobody should be treated with such shocking ill manners but especially a woman (because I'm an old fashioned kind of girl & believe that gentlemen should behave as such).
*Note to self* Book a room next year & stay overnight!
A now much warmer, less stressed & far less tired GND.