01895 262 122
And then fbb was talking to, NO; listening to - a computer!
Please type in the number of the car park (it's on the board!)
Please type in your debit card number (and you'll know the rest)
1234 1234 1234 1234
Type in how many days parking you wish to purchase:
If you wish to park for one day, type "1"
If you wish to park for two days, type "2" ...
fbb listens patiently whilst trying to tot up how much the phone call is costing ...
... If you wish to park for nine days, type "9"
Your parking will cost £12.75
We will send you text with further instructions.
Please reply giving your car registration number.
Obey the text instructions precisely or your car will be destroyed by a giant anvil dropped from a hot air balloon piloted by an elderly Elvis Presley.
Then - nothing!
Hoping all would be well, the fbbs made their way to the platform where their train was waiting.
The arrangements for bus transfer were working well with details (sometimes duplicated, just in case ... in case of what?) on the electronic departure displays ...
Departure was on the dot at 1351 and the journey was utterly uneventful, just as rail travel should be.
Despite the Sunday travel paranoia, the train was exactly on time throughout he route, helped by some significant recovery time at Bristol Temple Meads (9 mins), Birmingham New Street (10 mins) and Derby (12 mins)!
At 1740 (two minutes early) the train came to a stand on Sheffield's Platform 6 whence a short nip took the fbbs to the tram station for a one stop ride to Fitzalan Square ...
In case you've forgotten, the computer did send fbb a text; fbb did reply with his registration number and the car had not been crushed when the old man and good lady arrived back on Tuesday.
fbb had hoped to end his blog with something nostalgic involving the phrase "this is the age of the train," but everything on-line featured a certain disgraced disc jockey; so inappropriateness prevailed. But your author did find the extract below, extolling the virtues of train travel for overseas visitors! Enjoy!
Sigh! That was the age of the train - wasn't it? The commentary, by the way, was by a youthful version of the late great Brian Redhead, one-time presenter of Radio 4's "Today" programme.