Country boy in the big city: travelling home

Remember the days of getting home in under twenty minutes from college or high school? How I miss those days and wish my two and a half hour trip back home on the train was nearer that figure.

For most, this could be down to actual distance from Lincoln to their home town, city or village. However, for me, the usual hour and fifteen car journey home has been turned into a labyrinth of station changes, long waits and infrequent trains.

These factors also come part and parcel with another annoyance on my journey home; a walk across Newark. This walk can only be universally understood if you have made the journey from Lincoln to Leeds, with a change at Newark Castle.

When I was a young and naive first year student, these journeys seemed compulsory and unavoidable but as my timetable changed and the lord had seemingly answered my prayers, this route became more and more infrequent.

The route in question involved a change at Newark Castle and a thirty minute walk across the East Lincolnshire town to Newark North Gate, or as it came to be over the few journey’s, the promised land.

While I make it sound like a covert operation that required skills between brain surgeon and astrophysicist, it left me more confused than a cow on astro-turf more times than not.

I remember the first time I fell into the trap of accepting this mission and so began a quest that made Frodo Baggins’ journey look like a walk to the corner shop.

I made it to Newark North Gate (the promised land) with seconds to spare until my connecting train and with a bedraggled look that ranked somewhere between ‘dragged through a hedge’ and ‘taken part in The Island with Bear Grylls’, I made my way onto the train home.

As I exited the train and made my way to the car park where my dad was waiting to pick me up, I could only begin to imagine what would go through his head when he saw me.

To my delight and surprise though, he was none the wiser and as we made our way home, I couldn’t help but feel that his ability to drive me home might be somewhat hindered by his vision that had failed to detect his passenger now resembled a miniature yeti.

All in all, my advice to anyone from a village who is thinking of jumping on a train and going home for the weekend is this: check you don’t have to walk as part of your journey and check if there is a less complicated way of catching connecting trains on your journey.

Image credit: Wikipedia Commons

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