Hitchin is the worst railway station in the world. Worse than the ones closed down by Beeching. I may be venting a little. But it's a frustrating station to use, especially if you have to drive as the car park is long and thin and almost always full. I arrived at 9.20am today and managed to get one of the last spaces right at the top of the car park - which feels like a half mile walk from the platforms. I had left time for this eventualiy, but foolishly tried to get ahead of myself by booking tickets on the trainline. But picking up tickets from the machines is actually much more laborious than buying them once you're there. You have to enter a long code and the screens of the machines are worn out and some letters only work on the 100th attempt or actually correspond with the letter next to them. I thought I might miss my train all together with the five minutes wasted. Come on Trainline.com - email me the bloody tickets instead of making me go through this rigmarole. I am paying you a booking fee to make my life more stressful.
Looking back on that there might have been worse things historically that have happened at train stations. But I don't care about those things because they didn't involve me. Hitchin sucks. Sort it out Ian Hitchin. Welwyn Garden City has a much better car park and it's closer to London. You can't carry on being this complacent.
I had a few meetings in London town, the first in Blackfriars with my publisher to discuss possible future projects. This seemed to go well. I want to concentrate on writing this year (if TV people will just stop getting in contact to ask me to be on the telly - all that had to happen for me to be on the telly was for me to stop wanting to be on the telly) and it’d be nice to get my teeth into a book. Emergency Questions was a relatively easy book to “write”, so it’d be great to go through the pain and torment of something a bit more complex.
I was then going to meet producer Ben to discuss upcoming RHLSTPs and our other project that we hope to get off the ground this year (again, it will involve a lot of writing). I was going to get the tube, but I had some time and it was a bright, if cold day and so I decided to walk it.
I miss the pre-kids, pre-countryside days where I would take long walks through London, occasionally heading to Shepherd’s Bush from Soho or down to Clapham. If you have time it’s a wonderful city to take in slowly, on foot. And most of the central bit is actually pretty compact. Blackfriars to Tottenham Court Road via Covent Garden was not a huge distance to cover. After lunch I was meeting an academic at the British Library who wanted to interview me about my “culturally important” (my words, not his) stand up shows and so I did that on foot too. Lots of exercise and no stinky tubes or buses and saving myself 10s of pence into the bargain…
Oh and the things I saw…. Nothing very special as it happens. It’s not the point.
RHLSTP with a food poisoned David Reed is now up on audio
Live dates are selling fast this year, so book tickets for RHLSTP (especially in Birmingham) QUICK.