It was perishing cold this morning, and I had to drag myself out of bed 5 minutes earlier as the train time had changed to 07.26. I also had to take Lindy, my faithful mountain-bike hybrid, with me as I had to get back home early, and they seem to have axed all the useful stopping services. So I was not in best mood to start with.
Waiting and waiting...no train. No announcements. VDU screen on Farnborough North Platform 1 hasn't been working for months.
Eventually I texted Bill Badger, who'd only just got up bless him, so he could look it up on the net - cancelled due to lack of driver. Flipping great. Next train 08.00 meaning I'd be late for work.
The 08.00 arrives at 08.05, not too bad you might think but it was only 2 carriages long! For 2 trainloads of people!! Lindy and I just about squeezed in.
Next stop North Camp where a few people disembarked but a lot more got on - somehow. But who should come running up but my enemy Clive (name changed to protect the not very innocent) with his Claud Butler. 'Room for a small one?' he said. No, f**k off. Of course I didn't say that, I said 'I doubt it' but Clive went ahead and leant his bike next to Lindy so that the handlebar was right against my crotch. Ugh.
I was so distressed that I nearly hyperventilated. This is because Clive has been mounting a hate campaign against me which has lasted over 2 years.
Much to my surprise, Clive seemed cooperative and even quite helpful. Since our bikes were right next to the door we had to work together a bit to let people off, and let people on without them stealing our space. Then we sat in First Class and ignored each other.
It must have been obvious I was terrified. When we finally reached Redhill he said 'Are you all right?' at least I assumed he was talking to me, he was already facing away. So I said yes, assuming he was talking about the bike. But when I sneaked a glance at him returning from the bike shelter, he still looked worried.
Now there's a mystery. Why is he suddenly so concerned? Perhaps something or someone else has brought home to him the consequences of bullying someone. Perhaps he's finally grown up, about time too. Or perhaps he's afraid of being reported to the BTP and he's just decided to manipulate me. I'm keeping an open mind...