To Lincoln via Storm Doris

What a day!

This morning I set out from Cardiff to travel here to Lincoln for my public lecture. I took the 9.45 train via Birmingham which, after a change of trains in Nottingham, should have got me into Lincoln at 14.23, with plenty of time to have a look around and chat to people before the scheduled start of my talk at 18.00 hours.

That was the plan, but it omitted an important factor: Storm Doris. Fallen trees, broken down trains and general disorganisation meant that it took nine hours to get to Lincoln, even including getting a taxi from Nottingham because I missed my connection.

The strangest thing was that I never actually saw any particularly bad weather. In fact there was quite a lot of sunshine en route. All the chaos was caused elsewhere, apparently.

Anyway I finally turned up almost an hour late for my talk, but thankfully the audience had waited patiently so we went ahead with the lecture. I can’t say I was entirely unflustered after the journey but I hope at least some people found something of interest. There  certainly were some very nice and interesting questions at the end.

So now after a pleasant dinner with my host Andrei, I am safely installed in a charming guest house right beside Lincoln Cathedral. I certainly think I’ll sleep well tonight! 

Let’s hope my journey back to Cardiff is a bit less eventful. 


5 Responses to “To Lincoln via Storm Doris”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    There was a big tree down on on of the minor roads round here in N Shropshire.

  2. Monica Grady Says:

    Hi Peter, it took me 12 hours to get back from Glasgow – including having to hire a car to drive from Preston to MK, because there were no trains going south.

    Storm Doris shows how fragile our national infrastructure is. But during the course of my voyage, I met and chatted to many staff from Virgin trains – all of whom were friendly and helpful – and endlessly patient.

    • telescoper Says:

      Yes. Although it was chaos in Birmingham New Street the staff tried very hard in very difficult circumstances. Also there was a lot of good-natured banter among the passengers, people lending phones, etc. People do tend to come together in adversity. I’m glad that’s still the case.

  3. […] – annual public lectures in Cosmology/Astrophysics. However, his efforts were in vain: in a truly heroic 9 hours trip, combining multiple trains and a taxi, our inaugural speaker Professor Peter Coles arrived from Cardiff to the waiting audience in […]

  4. Reblogged this on In the Dark and commented:

    We’ve had three major storms over the past week (Dudley, Eunice and Franklin). Today I was reminded that prevcisely five years ago today I was trying to make it from Cardiff to Lincoln to give a lecture. It took me nearly all day and I was an hour late, but, you know, the show must go on.

    There’s obviously a thing about February and storms!

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