19th July 2011I was invited by Alison of Edinburgh Cake Ladies to attend their Cake event on a Tuesday evening. I hadn’t thought about including this as part of my Tea & Cake journey, but if it includes Cake and a cup of tea then why not.
I caught the 13:05 from Leeds and found someone in my reserved seat. They politely moved when I asked them and sat in the opposite aisle talking loudly to each other plus one other person, all of them were drinking and burping behind me. This was the Quiet Coach, and I was wondering what part of the word Quiet did they not understand. Praying and hoping they weren’t going to Edinburgh, their conversation about betting and horses lead me to think they may be getting off at York. Sure enough they did and almost immediately the coach became quiet and less aromatic if you know what I mean.
I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times and never managed to get the Coastal side of the train but this time I did, only to find my view was blocked by the window frame so I never got so see the coast at all. The rest of the journey was uneventful, my cake and I arrived in Edinburgh safely and on time. After a little shopping I made my way to Fredericks Coffee House on Fredericks Street – that’s why it’s called Fredericks and within a short time all the bakers their cakes and guests began to arrive. Cakes in all their glory. I managed 6 slices but Alison wanted to beat the Clandestine Cake Club record of 11 slices eaten by member Rob in Leeds earlier this year.
It was really nice catching up with old acquaintances and making friends with new people. Going to Edinburgh is always worth the journey especially when searching for Cake. I managed to enjoy a cup or Darjeeling tea, remembering to take out the tea bag to prevent it over brewing.
I took some of my cake home along with a slice of another. The men in my life wouldn’t have forgiven me if I came home empty handed.
My 9pm train home began when I literally boarded the wrong train. I’d just been on the phone to a friend when the train came in. Everyone was quickly boarding it so I jumped on, only to find, yet again someone in my seat. The young girl explained that the train was going to Aberdeen not Leeds, so the adrenalin kicked in and I quickly headed for the exit only to find no handle on the inside and me having to lean out of the window to find the door handle and get out. With minutes to spare I made it off the train and 10 mins later my correct train arrived. This was just the beginning of my 4 hour journey home. You’d be forgiven for thinking that getting on the wrong train was enough of an adventure, but read on there’s more.
I’d booked myself a First Class seat costing a total of £20. A very helpful attendant, just like on the advert, helped me move from one carriage to another because it didn’t have any plugs for my phone. I now had a large table and plenty of space to spread out. I was served complementary coffee and water and later was offered fresh Sandwiches, which I declined due to all the cake I’d been eating. So I settled down to Twitter for company and looking forward to a quiet journey home.
Suddenly an alarm rang out about a disabled button being pressed. Then I heard loud voices and a man being guided down the carriage by one of the guard attendants who was calmly saying keep walking, keep going. As they drew nearer I decided NOT to make eye contact with this ‘Happy Chappy’, I just carried on with my twitter conversation. I then heard him say ‘What are you doing sat there’ I declined to respond and the lovely attendant got him moving and promptly put him in the coach I’d previously sat in and I heard a voice say ” I want this man off of here”. With in a few minutes we pulled into Alnwick station and the guard helped the man off the train and seeing them both from the window it became clear just how Happy this Chappy was, so drunk he could have fallen on the tracks, but the guard made sure he stayed safe.
I knew at this point the train was going nowhere. And the sudden train announcement saying they were awaiting for the police to arrive due to a Guard being attacked confirmed this. Having free Wifi I was relaying the event as it unfolded on twitter in the hope I was entertaining the insomniacs out there. One police car arrived and then another, until finally after 10 – 15 mins the man was dispatched and the train was off again. It had time to make up and at one point we were going like the ‘Clappers’ as my mum would say, so fast in fact that the window blinds where swaying as we went around the corners and the glasses and bottle clinked and clanked on the table.
The trolley came around again with more complementaries and this time, instead of more coffee, I chose some white wine. They ran out, so went and got me a small bottle that they sell in the bar, lucky me. I had another 3 hours to go on this journey and already it was running 15 mins late.
By this time my @ twitter stream was busy with people tweeting ROFL,(Rolls on Floor Laughing) and “Where are you”, “Can’t go to bed until @mysecrettearoom is home safely” and more. I was grateful for my Twitter friends keeping me company because as the journey progressed more and more people got off the train, until at one point I was the only passenger in my carriage. We slowly came to a holt, not at a station but somewhere unknown and it was dark outside. I tweeted that if the lights on the train were to go out I would be doomed and to tell my family I loved them. It came to a point where I was laughing at my own tweets as I relayed my journey.
Once again the speed increased, to a G force that warrants Astronaut training, I thought. Thankfully the wine helped but it was impossible to drink at such high speed so I made the most of every station stop. I remembered I had some strawberries, kindly given to me by @harbourhussy These went down well with the Wine. After an hour or so I was now down to water and thinking about making a will, was I ever going to get home. Someone tweeted that I should break open the cake but I decided the save it, besides I’d had plenty of cake already in Edinburgh . With two more hours to go an email arrived from The Gent saying he was getting tired, he was my lift home from the station.
Slowly but surely the train managed to make up the time and we arrived in Leeds, if not on time, but just a few mins late. I hope by now the Happy Chappy was sleeping it off in a cell somewhere. I made my thanks to my twitter friends for keeping me company and made my way to where The Gent was waiting.
Leeds is a very different station at 1am in the morning, quite different to the day time.
So here endeth my Tea & Cake journey day 5. A day I shall remember, not for the train journey but for the wonderful Edinburgh Cake Ladies and Fredericks Coffee House.
I have no other plans at this stage for Day 6, but I think a detox in a lovely spa somewhere is needed. Because it is possible to have too much cake.