Coming home: Our Wedding, part three

Oh boy.
Apparently a train porter had been attacked and killed, and the entire public transport system came out on strike.
We had a problem.
I mean, a serious series of problems, the biggest of which was our tickets had an expiry date on them.
We HAD to be on the midday ferry from The Hook to Harwich to get our connections to get home.

In an obtuse kind of way, it was funny. Not that someone had died of course, but the general attitude of people ‘stranded’ like us.
Many just sat around in the train station saying they’d wait for the next train.
Wasn’t going to happen guys. This was at least a 24 hour strike.

Some rushed to the bus depot to get seats on the next available coach.
This is part of the transport system, and yeah, they were on strike too.

A few were lining up at the tram stops to get out of the city.
Er, trams are also transport, and they weren’t going anywhere either.

Hubby and I had an emergency meeting on the pavement outside.
We decided to hire a car and trotted off to a rental company just round the corner.
Just one couple were ahead of us and there was some kind of problem with their charge card.
We were served, processed and on the road (using an alternative credit card) whilst they were still going through the payment process.

Hubby forgot they drove on the right.
We soon cottoned on after experiencing bleeps, blaring horns and shaking fists as we went down the street the wrong way (and on the wrong side).
Out on the autobahn, we were fine, admiring the scenery and watching the clock.
The rental company had told us to deliver the car to their outlet in The Hook, and they would arrange a taxi for us to the docks.

We pulled in to the car lot at 11.30.
It was on the other side of town, and traffic was horrendous. We were told it was because of a public transport strike ( πŸ˜‰ )
True to their word, they got us a taxi and off we roared. Literally.
Our driver was obviously a stuntman for The Sweeney in a former life as we carved up bicycles, private buses and anything else on wheels that happened to be going in the same direction as us.
We learnt that ‘Shit’ and ‘Bastard’ are the same in Dutch as they are in English.
We learnt that adrenalin is brown.
We discovered how long we could hold our breath.

Our taxi got us to the port with 2 minutes to spare, then realised we were at the wrong gate entrance, did a U turn and pulled into the correct one sideways.
We fell out with our luggage and puffed up the gangplank to board.
We were greeted by a uniformed ferry official who said,
‘No need to rush. We have delayed our departure by one hour to give passengers time to get here because of the strike.’
Terrific. How considerate.
Bloody hell. Talk about piling on the pressure.
We were leaving Holland an hour later than scheduled.
But we didn’t have an hour the other end to spare!!

After a much needed beer (not rushed, shaken or stirred), we collapsed into a couple of comfy chairs and put our feet up.
There was nothing we could do except hope that trains were running late in the UK and we could make our connections OK. We calculated we had about half an hour breathing space.
We dozed for a while, we shopped in the Duty Free on board, we had a meal, we played cards.
We also fretted and worried about time and not having enough cash to get home.

As it happened, we docked around twenty minutes later than we would have done had we left at midday.
We had no delays getting out of Harwich, though we got on and off the wrong train quickly getting to Liverpool Street.
We caught the tube back to Waterloo to hear the announcement that the train for Bournemouth was due to leave in five minutes.
Typically, it was at the other end of the station, on the very last platform.

We ran like the wind.
It was a miracle the duty free bubbly didn’t pop its corks and give us extra propulsion.
We threw our holdalls into the train carriage, I fell in after them holding the duty free bags aloft, and Hubby dived on top of me just as the doors closed, missing his foot by inches.
We were in.
We were on our way home.
There was nowhere to sit.

We walked the full length of five carriages before finding a seat, stepping over luggage, briefcases, coats, shopping bags and other junk lying in the aisles that passengers couldn’t be bothered to stow over their heads or lift out of our way.
It felt like we walked half the way home.

The train pulled into Bournemouth at 10.45 pm.
Hubby rang his Dad, who had promised beforehand to pick us up from the station and was happy to come and collect us.
We were shattered.
Our duty free was intact, no breakages, loss, or damage.
I told Hubby there and then that I’d never go on Honeymoon with him again.
It was too exhausting!

There were repercussions from having a quiet wedding though.

Mother in law complained that we hadn’t given her a big enough piece of cake to share with her friends.

My Mum having kept our secret had pleasure telling my sister that she’d been to our wedding as she handed her a piece of cake for the family. Sister was upset because her two daughters would be disappointed at not being bridesmaids as she’d promised.

When I got back to work, they wouldn’t let me into the building, saying they had nobody of that name on the payroll (my supervisor’s memo referred).

Additional note:
We went back to Amsterdam in 1993, but this time we flew (first time in an aeroplane) !



About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! In November 2020, we lost our beloved Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney. We now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of Kizzy, my GSD when Hubby and I first met so had hers done too. On February 24th 2022 we were blessed to find Maya, a 13 week old GSD pup who has made her own place in our hearts. You can follow our training methods, photos and her growth in my blog posts. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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16 Responses to Coming home: Our Wedding, part three

  1. Ah, travel – so much fun, and never goes how you plan! Sounds like your honeymoon was great and memorable!

    – Sarah (and Choppy) –
    Travels with Choppy

    • It certainly was! We did a scrap book of the event (just in case we forgot!)

      • I have started to do travel journals for the same reason (I’m not organized enough to do a scrap book – I’m shocked I manage to keep journals while on vacation!).

      • I kept a journal for my NZ trip and took loads of photos. I had to type it manually into a word document to store on a USB key, but all my photos are on a variety of CDs and SDS chips.

      • I wish I was better about keeping the photos – one of those projects if I ever have time is to go through all the places I have photos and organize them. This will happen in approximately…never.

      • We have a box of photos that need to be sorted, but have a plan to cover the top of a coffee table with them as we did with our collages. My sister in law did it and then put a sheet of glass over the top. It looked amazing.

      • What a fabulous idea! I could even imagine doing it in a way that you could change them out over the course of a year (though I would probably fail to do so!).

      • It keeps memories alive and everyone close every day.

  2. I loved the adventure series! Wow, this was so entertaining. I’m totally breathless myself, but also feel like it was so marvelously memorable it was 100% worth it.
    And I’m glad you got back to Amsterdam. It’s a city I’ve not seen yet but is definitely on my bucket list.
    Great story. Thanks for the head’s up on where to find it. Cheers!

    • We loved Amsterdam. The people and food were great. On our second trip, we witnessed workmen at their best. They were laying a brick pavement in a herring bone pattern, and by the time we walked back, they had almost finished (about 2 hours). In a UK town 12 miles away, they were doing something similar and it took them 6 months!
      Oh and we also got some funny looks sitting on concrete mushrooms eating our lunch one day. Turned out the mushrooms were dog ‘relief’ stations!!!
      Happy memories. πŸ˜€

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