© 2011 Becca. All rights reserved. East Coast Rail

To infinity and beyond

The Forth Bridge is about to accept its penultimate lick of deep red. It is really something when that hunk of Victorian Iron connecting lowly Fife to the Capital is finished before you are. So, to coin a new phrase now that the Road Bridge is done, at least my finishing is faster than East Coast Rail. Finishing I have discovered is the most all-consuming part of renovating, and I didn’t see it coming.

We will get to that – firstly let me introduce you to the replacement Forth Road Bridge, East Coast Rail. It was around 1530 that I joined (that fated!) crowd power walking up Platform 3 of Kings Cross to Coach B, which was oddly dark and without reservation tickets. Lighting failure our dear (but soon to be missing) Train Guard reliably informed the group and on his advice I legged it to another carriage before every seat was taken.

40 minutes later, delighting in my seat and laptop and magazine and picnic, I discovered England’s beautifully non-descript Biggleswade. Where we promptly sat for two hours whilst Firemen duly extinguished the fire engulfing the rail bridge just outside of Peterborough. If we had floored it I am pretty sure our tail wind would have sufficiently quelled the flames but Health and Safety obviously felt otherwise. This followed a tanoid announcement that our East Coast Rail train bound for Edinburgh up the East Coast Railway Line, was being diverted up the West Coast to Carlisle, Back-of-Beyond; the only way around engineers working just outside of Waverly Station.

The trolly service was off, we spent 33 minutes in York station whilst we performed a ‘manual’ departure ( no I don’t know what that is) and in Newcastle we collected seven Geordies who sat in the aisle and played music to the carriage. Someone set off the disabled passenger alarm and we all assumed the brace position. The train ran out of water which prevented the flushing of the W/C and washing of hands and I am still not home. We are due in around mid November I believe. Carlisle is wet and not to be recommended at this time of year.

Moving swiftly on in a manner East Coast Rail cannot, my finishing has in all honesty, taken a while. The renovation works were completed on 13th August 2011 as planned, taking a total of six weeks. We didn’t move in until the 16th September and the works list is still not complete. This is in part budget related; there is none left. And partly time, energy and the decision-making-process related.

The kitchen was planned for months but the walls I so deftly (even if I do say so myself) plastered, require tiles I had sort of forgotten about?! The sofa and bedroom furniture was in storage but none was measured so each room adopted a musical-chairs character for a couple of weeks, All of the walls were painted white and as soon as it had dried I realised I didn’t like the hospital look.

Finishing takes a finesse and sureness of mind that I had always Metro tiles for the Kitchen, in black no white, no cream, no blueassumed would be easy to fix, but I am still moving items and continue to change my mind about colour. At the last minute I decided against the £1000 wall mural for the Kitchen…and I am not sure I will ever be finished making my mind up.




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