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The Longest Journey

When we still had a flat in Lewisham, I used to reckon on a three hour journey from boarding the coach in Oxford to walking in through my front door. Since yesterday morning’s meeting was only at Guys’ Hospital and not such a long leg from the coach drop off point near Victoria Station, I reasoned that allowing three hours (plus the extra half hour marked for refreshments before the meeting began in earnest) would be ample.

More fool me. An accident on the London bound M40 meant it was six and quarter hours before I reached Marble Arch, by which point my morning meeting was already into the follow-up lunch period. Later research showed the accident happened before 6am so I would have either needed to have planned to arrive about four hours early or have travelled the night before and stayed over with friends to avoid it.

I skipped to the afternoon plan of trolling round the computing sections of some of Central London’s large bookshops (also, alas, fruitless) before wandering back to Victoria for the homeward leg. At least I caught a coach waiting at the stop and the journey back made much more reasonable time once we had crawled as far as Notting Hill.

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