Walk to the station – with coffee:
Emerge from the house showered, dressed & reasonably presentable in good time for a brisk yet fundamentally unhurried walk to the station, in possession of all my belongings and ready for the day ahead
Walk to the station – without coffee:
Wake to the dreadful realisation that the last thing we did before going on holiday was break the cafetiere. Contemplate, but discard, the option of drinking tea made from the out-of-date tea bags kept for the entertainment of builders and stray members of my family. Forget that I was not cycling (and hence had less time to spare), where I had put my oyster card (down the back of the sofa, obviously), my wallet (had to go back and get it) and my staff pass (had to humiliatingly stand in the lobby until the work experience student arrived and let me in). Head, fortunately, screwed on.
Travelling to work – with Silverlink*:
Arrive late, breathless and mildly frostbitten after spending half an hour on the open platform at Willesden junction which had been previously deserted by all Silverlink employees because one of Silverlink’s sorry excuses for a piece of rolling stock had broken down at Gunnersbury successfully bringing to a halt not just Silverlink but the District Line as well
Travelling to work – without Silverlink:
Become mildly annoyed when the on-time departure of my intended train means I miss it due to caffeine-withdrawal-related incompetence (see above). Reflect that this will give me a chance to buy a coffee at the stall. Tut briefly at the two minute delay to my next train as I sit in a heated waiting room sipping my coffee. Get wafted efficiently to work. Be seated at my desk an hour and a half before my silverlink colleagues arrive defrosting their noses and spitting tacks. Surreptitiously touch wood before all of this fate-tempting comes home to roost.
It’s, er, not great to be back
* I am indebted to my colleagues for this little snippet. And not smug at all. Oh no, not in the slightest. Well, maybe a little bit…