Last saturday I went on what I believe to be my longest independent rail journey so far. But don’t worry this post isn’t going to be about the triumph of independence or anything as grand as that…
On days of long journeys or out of the ordinary activity I tend to wake up very early in the morning in order to give myself plenty of time. I am one of those people who needs time to pack and unpack their bag at least three times to check they definitely have everything, who will need time to change outfits at least twice and also requires a small allowance of time to run and collect forgotten items. Not to mention I also need to get my dog, AKA furry child, ready. Thinking on this I set my alarm for 5:50am and promptly fell asleep knowing that I had plenty –if not too much- time to get to the station.
At 2am I woke up. In the brief moment of consciousness that followed I assured myself that I could go back to sleep, safe in the knowledge that I had so much time ahead of me. In hindsight I now know that those few waking moments at witching hour were a warning from my sub-conscience of things to come.
My alarm went off as expected with its usual cacophony of deafening pre-installed jingles, and after I had silenced it I checked my twitter feed as I have become accustomed to doing in the past months. I was feeling pretty relaxed and a bit tired, but when I swiped up to the top of my screen my head imploded. 6:50am. That can’t be right? After confirming the time with my iPad and laptop I realised, with a sinking heart, that I had made a terrible error. Rushing about I quickly did a triple check of my bag, grabbed my lunch from the kitchen and rushed Lai to the pen. My taxi arrived promptly at 7:15 as planned. My hour and twenty minutes preparation time had been banished to just twenty minutes. In my rushing I hadn’t had time to get changed out of my pyjamas but had somehow managed to stuff a set of clothes and face wipes into my oversized bag. Officially dishevelled and panting slightly I ran up the path to the waiting taxi.
On the short ride from the college to the station my mind was dancing about on the, rather prominent, issue of how I was going to get changed and also avoid public humiliation. I paid the driver and he very kindly guided me from the taxi to the ticket office where I was then met by passenger assistance, who took me onto the dark platform. It was still early and the sun hadn’t risen properly yet. I was self conscious of my choice of attire but I was for once grateful that it was so dark and hoped no one would notice.
If only. If only I had chosen any other pyjamas the night before. The assistance man gave me a surprised look as we stepped into the darkness and I felt his arm shake slightly as if he was holding back a laugh. That was when I saw it. Out of the bottom of my eye I could just see a greeny yellow glow rising up my leg. My heart sunk for the second time that morning. I was wearing my glow in the dark pyjama bottoms, the ones I had bought in town years ago because I thought that the novelty of them was rather endearing. They had been a talking point at sleepovers for a year or so, and then they had began to get a bit short around the ankles and were subsequently demoted to ‘it’ll do’ sleepwear. The taxi driver who had guided me around the front of the taxi in the bright headlights had unknowingly charged my trousers to the max. On further inspection I had never seen them glow so bright. Now here I was, on a train station platform at 7am wearing alarmingly luminous trousers.
I asked quickly if I could be shown to the toilets and once in there, still ashen faced with the stupidity of my actions, I quickly pulled on my leggings. From the other side of the door I could hear the guide whistling in a very up tempo we-have-to-go manner. Alas, I pulled my bag back onto my shoulders and hurried out, now painfully aware that I was still wearing a top which said ‘sweet dreams’ in big letters across the chest.
Once on the train I wiped my face with some of the wipes I had shoved into my bag and ate some mints in place of brushing my teeth. I was clutching my coat to myself in an attempt to conceal my embarrassing pyjama top from the teenage couple opposite me. There was no toilet on this train and no way of actually swapping tops. In the end I resorted to a layering technique of subtly covering up my pyjama top with it’s more acceptable substitute. It must have looked quite bizarre to the other passengers, but I think I got away with it by pretending it was a jumper and someone had stolen its sleeves…
It could have been a lot worse because I could have forgotten to set my alarm entirely and missed my train. Though the moral of this story is always make sure you change the hour of your alarm and as well as the minutes.
… And when planning on being publicly pyjama-ed always make sure they are not brighter than most traffic lights…