A trip to the countryside


We went to Tunbridge Wells today to see some friends from Singapore who’ve moved back. Getting there from Beckenham is a bit of a mission without a car: we narrowly missed a train at Beckenham Junction, then after taking two more trains to reach Orpington, missed another connection by mere seconds, and finally arrived about two hours after we’d set off.
Still, the girls were well supplied with toys and didn’t complain, especially when at the end of the voyage they got to see their old playmates and rush around in the garden. Outside play is a luxury in Singapore if you dislike sunburn and dehydration. On the other hand, you don’t get covered in mud or suffer from hypothermia. (Yesterday, La Serpiente told me she doesn’t want to live in a cold country. Then again Destroyer has told us she wants me to regrow my beard, so the children clearly don’t get that much say in the decision making process.)

We sat down to an enormous and somewhat boozy meal. I had gin, champagne, more champagne, some salad, a rather alcoholic Christmas cake, some tea and a mince pie. So pretty regular English food. The day rushed by at quite a clip and before we knew it we were making a dash for the station, missing our departure by less than a minute.

What a wonderful tradition to commence. Funnily enough, the next train we got deposited us back at Beckenham Junction half an hour ahead of the train we’d been trying to catch. Truly the British railway timetable is a thing of great mystery and wonder.

The kids were fairly exhausted. As usual, they claimed they weren’t and needed to play with toys ("I need to PLAY" as Destroyer would bellow) or watch TV, so after some horsing around I got them both into bed and then focussed on more important things like making a cup-a-soup and planning our visit to the Horniman walrus tomorrow.


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