COLUMN: The Ely Grumpster’s weekly ramblings
PUBLISHED: 12:13 20 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:13 20 February 2018
• Well it’s been a couple of weeks to remember for all the wrong reasons.
Last week, Network rail decided to mess about with the bridges between Ely and King’s Lynn. Bad enough for me, with few direct morning trains to London and 50 per cent of evening services terminating at Cambridge.
Considerably worse for the King’s Lynners and Downham Marketeers.
Stressed, grey-faced commuters wandering around Ely station in a daze, like extras in a scene from Dawn of the Dead, after a bladder-busting hour on a rickety bus.
Add in unheated carriages, broken toilets, short-formations and a train failure at Cambridge and you have a true week of hell.
• The week before, I enjoyed an evening in the company of the irascible Nigel “no throat” Jones, with whom the Grumpster played rugby in the nineties and who owns his own media company.
Nigel, with his strange shirt and trouser colour combination, lack of socks, paisley waistcoat and goatee looks as out of place in the City of London as a vegan in Smithfield Market.
• However, he is a dear friend and as his nickname suggests, is partial to the odd Malbec.
At 4pm, we retired to the incomparable Jamaica Inn (much loved of City folk since the time of Noah).
Several hours and bottles later, we man-hugged, parted company and I meandered off in the general direction of Moorgate.
Then disaster struck. Some lycra-clad moron with dreams of velodrome gold, ploughed into the Grumpster.
Result – the two of us lying in the road, wrapped around a racing bike. The lovely chap swore at me, climbed on his chariot and tore off.
• As I limped to the tube station, I thought “can it get any worse?” Well it could and it did.
I joined the illustrious company of the “double-dipsticks”.
Settled into my train seat, retrieved my new book from my now scuffed and muddy briefcase and promptly fell asleep.
At some point, I was roused from my slumbers and looked out the window. LITTLEPORT! You idiot Egg.
Half an hour wait for next Ely train. Fell asleep again. My next memory was of a guard shaking me. “Come on mate, end of the line”.
Yes you guessed it - I was back at King’s Cross, with no book.
Closing thought: at some point, Doris is going to ask why I have vivid bruises all over my legs. Any good explanations welcome.