This is something I’ve been thinking I should blog for a few months but haven’t got round to. I was talking to someone about the internet and disability earlier and this was something I mentioned. So now I’m blogging it.
I think sometimes it’s very easy to blog about the things that make me angry or that annoy me or that happen out of the ordinary. Generally things I blog about are things that I’m passionate about and often times that passion comes across in blogging about negative things. It’s easy to forget to blog about the other side of the story – the times when things go well or are positive. Usually because that’s just routine and isn’t really worth noting.
Back in November I went to London and I had an absolutely terrible journey home. There was an issue with part of the tube not running and my need for step free access making finding an alternative route difficult (this was in part due to a failure on my part as an advocate because I didn’t have the knowledge to push for what should have happened to happen). And then there were big problems with the regular trains due to overruning engineering works and again. It was frankly a nightmare
Early last year I also had a bit of a nightmare journey. In part because I was using stations I’d not done before, in part because it was during the floods and in part because I was travelling with a couple of people I’d not done before. And their expections of what would happen, my expectations of what should happen and the reality of what did happen were all slightly different.
I then spoke a few months ago to someone who was with me for one of those journeys and told them about the other. I know they read my blog so they may have read other stories of difficult trips. This led to their commenting that I “don’t have much luck” travelling on the train
And nothing could be further from the truth.
By my reckoning since the beginning of this year I’ve
Been to Reading once – and that train journey was fine.
Been to Birmingham once which involved changing trains at Oxford – and those journeys were unremarkable
Been to London Paddington once – apart from having to chase after the assisted travel staff member when he tore off from the customer reception to my platform faster than I could go it was fine. Terminal stations, particularly London ones have a reputation for making you wait for assistance but there was a man with a ramp ready and waiting when the train pulled in. I came back on an earlier train than I was booked on and asked my Dad to go to the station at this end to meet me. When he got there they said “We know she’s coming on the earlier train!”
And counting today I’ve been to Oxford at least four times. I did have to come back via Reading on one of them because of a broken lift. But it was easy and I got to chat to someone who works there I’ve known for years but hadn’t seen for ages.
That’s basically 17 trains. (7 return journeys, one of which involved a change and my extra diversion to Reading). 34 interactions with station staff who needed to be there with a ramp and help me. One that was a problem but which was quickly and easily resolved with little stress. And none of them were negative or bad or really worth remembering.
It can hardly be described as my having solely bad experiences with the trains.
But – and I suspect this is true of many things if I think about this – I don’t blog about the normal because it’s mundane and boring and not worth doing so.
I think perhaps I should.