Saturday 3 July 2021

Travel Travails

 Yesterday I took a train to Lichfield, there to meet up with my Derbyshire cousin. The train, however, was obliged to 'terminate' at Rugby, owing to trouble with the overhead cables between that town and Nuneaton. A coach, we were assured, would be on hand to take us on to Stafford. In the event, however, no coach was on hand to take anyone anywhere, and, after much waiting and general confusion, I was obliged to take a train to Birmingham, then on to Stafford, where my cousin was by now waiting. A 90-minute journey had become one of four hours – and to the wrong destination. However, Stafford is a very pleasant town, with handsome half-timbered and Georgian buildings, a fine church and a delightful river, studded with yellow water lilies, flowing through it. So all was not lost. 
  And there was another redeeming feature of this otherwise deeply frustrating rail journey. The approach to Milton Keynes Central station (as you come from the London direction in a nearside window seat) is a glorious spectacle just now, the trackside land for what must be the best part of a mile all awash with dog daisies, knapweed, red valerian, campion, St John's wort, marjoram, vetches and teasle. Sadly, despite all that nectar, no butterflies were apparent, but it was still a delight to see such a profusion of wild flowers in such an unlikely place. There are things to be cited in favour of the much maligned Milton Keynes, and its railside flora is definitely one of them. 

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