For all its faults, I do actually like the British public transport network. Which is not to say I like everything about it. Yesterday's journey, in which I made my way from Bideford to Coulsdon and then from Coulsdon to Hastings, is a case in point. It had all the normal joys of a post-Christmas journey, coupled with Sunday scheduling. Thus:
Bus from Bideford to Barnstaple.
Train from Barnstaple to Exeter - fortunately, they had decided to run four carriages instead of two; they needed them.
Get to Exeter St Davids. Can take a packed Paddington train or wait an hour for a slow train to Clapham Junction. Choose Paddington train, do not get a seat until Reading.
Go through the London Underground system to Victoria via Oxford Circus, hauling huge suitcase in my wake. Hauling huge suitcases through the Underground is always spectacularly fun for everyone.
Get fast train from Victoria to Purley, and then one from Purley to Coulsdon South.
Complete stuff that needs to be done at Coulsdon pretty quickly, with time to kill before the next train.
Go from Coulsdon to Gatwick Airport station. Just miss connection with Hastings train. Wait an hour at Gatwick Airport for another train. Note that there is nothing to do at Gatwick Airport station unless I go into the airport itself, which is confusing and likely to cause me to find myself lost in short order.
Get on Eastbourne and Ore train. Find out as I'm approaching Eastbourne that I'm in the wrong half of the train; hastily move through Southern train with narrow aisles with the aforementioned huge suitcase. More spectacular fun for everyone.
Eventually end up in Hastings.
It's a good job I like this tournament so much. Today, I'm taking on GM Romain Edouard of France, and you should be able to follow my progress here.
Happy New Year!
4 weeks ago