Commuting to and from Birmingham via public transport last week was, as it always is, an experience. I walked the two miles to the train station each day and a further mile or so to the conference centre at the other end, before hanging around for trains which didn't stick to the timetable but turned up when they wanted to.
Once on the train I did get a seat each day, both in the morning and on the way back in the evening, but... Why oh why, do people insist on thinking seats are for their bags, or feet, or stray body parts? Even in rush hour? Why do they look at you like you're imposing in the most horrendous way when you ask if the seat is free? Do they really need to sprawl into your seat after you've sat down, once they've grudgingly moved their bag of course? And shouldn't working toilets be kind of expected? And what's with the games the platform staff and train managers play, where they insist another train heading in the same direction is leaving the station first, only to pull away from the platform the instant a hundred or so passengers scurry from the first train to the second? (I wasn't caught out by this one, having fought through to my seat I wasn't moving, no matter what the train manager said!)
I did get to poke around the German Christmas Market in Birmingham while I was passing through. I think my tolerance threshold for tat has dropped over the years, as while I admired the many knitted hats, sheepskin gloves and sweets on offer, I wasn't tempted by ornaments made out of junk, touristy 'African' carvings or smelly candles. I was upset on Friday afternoon to discover it was raining when I set off from the conference centre. I'd been walking past the many cakes and sweets all week and had intended to treat myself... But as it was, heavily laden down with conference bag and juggling an umbrella, I didn't have sufficient spare hands to manage a sticky treat as well.
This weekend was spent doing housework, tidying and then wrapping Christmas gifts, to the point where I didn't really have any spare time at all. It was telling, that on Saturday I didn't knit a single stitch on existing projects let alone achieve any real crafting. I am about sorted though. And the living room is looking a little clearer; I say a little because it's a small house and while I can move things from one place to another, there is only so much I'm willing to throw away.
Only seven more working days til Christmas, yay!