I don’t have long to wait, which is just as well as I don’t like waiting.
I don’t like waiting, and I don’t like standing in queues, but let’s not get into a list of all the things I don’t like because we will be here all day.
Someone wise once said that you can never know for certain what it is that you want until you have worked out what you don’t want.
Personally, I think there are two types of people in the world; those who know what they want and those who know what they don’t want as well as those who play golf, but they are a different species altogether.
I can see the lights of the train which means that it will be here very soon.
It will take me away to another adventure.
As you can see I travel light for a female.
Only one small steamer trunk, a hat box and an umbrella.
I never go anywhere without my umbrella.
It came in handy during my stay here because this town has the third highest number of rainy days in the country.
I didn’t really mind, I like the rain, and I have my umbrella.
My grandfather gave it to me during a long weekend stay at his country house. He took me aside, paused thoughtfully and said, “Never be without this umbrella”, which to my young ears meant that this umbrella probably had magical powers; Harry Potter style, or was that Mary Poppins? I get the two mixed up.
Anyway, the umbrella has been surprisingly sturdy and has withstood the ravages of time, and although it does not seem to have magical powers, it has come in handy a few times and not just for keeping me dry.
Last November I perforated a mugger when I was working in Sydney.
I tried hard to get out of that job. I don’t feel comfortable in Sydney, but they offered me an obscene amount of money for what turned out to be a few days work, and I really needed that Triumph TR3. It was coming up for auction, and I was a few thousand short.
I always pay cash.
Not only does it get you the best deal it keeps you out of debt; one of the things my grandfather said I should never get into; that, and cars with boys ——- I didn’t listen to that one.
Besides, now I have my own car, so I don’t need boys to drive me around.
The TR3 does not have a top. Not even a rag top. True TR3 owners drive them in any weather and never complain about getting wet. That’s right, we are a bit strange, but we also drive a very cool car.
Unfortunately, I could not bring my car on this trip, but it will be waiting for me when I get home. I rent the garage at the house across the street from my parents. I don’t need a house of my own because I’m always on the road and when I’m in town the company pays for a five-star hotel.
Visiting my car is also a good excuse to visit my folks, so everybody wins.
I guess you might be wondering what is in the trunk and the hat box.
Well, mostly they contain my work stuff. Ordinary travelling containers don’t draw too much attention and the security on trains is much easier than planes, that’s why I don’t fly unless I have to. When I do, the company has equipment waiting for me. I’m very particular about my equipment. You cannot do a good job without the best tools available.
My umbrella falls into this category.
It was made by James Smith and Son in 1880 some fifty years after the company came into existence. It has two secret compartments, and the handle can be easily detached to reveal a dagger. It is also sturdy enough to strike someone and leave an impression, but I would only do that in a dire emergency.
One doesn’t risk damaging such a fine instrument.
Repairs are possible because the company is still trading and is in the hands of the original family.
It’s nice to know that there is some permanence in the world.
My next job is on the other side of the continent, and it will take several days for me to get there, but I don’t mind. I love trains, and I love having time to myself.
I smile when I think that an umbrella and a wily old man could have landed me such an interesting profession.
Paintings by Steve Hanks