Victoria Hawkins' Week

Mrs Meldrew is alive and well because rant about public transport indeed I must. A trip to London during the day (to go the Chelsea Flower Show press day) a couple of Mondays back was always going to be cutting things a bit fine.

Mrs Meldrew is alive and well because rant about public transport indeed I must. A trip to London during the day (to go the Chelsea Flower Show press day) a couple of Mondays back was always going to be cutting things a bit fine. EA Week goes to press on a Monday night so that's the day I have to sit with my editor's visor on making sure the pages are complete, the ads are there and correct and that the whole caboodle is ready to print.

So I turned up at Ipswich station at 8.30am and asked for the cheapest day return on offer - which turned out to be £50 if you travelled before nine o'clock and £30 if you went after. So with circumspect I saved the company £20 and waited for the 9.08.

Then when I got, the carriage was heartingly full, which is good, but this miserable lady got awfully miffed because I asked if I could sit down beside her, and proceeded to hurumff and tutt as she cleared my seat of her various handbags, books and papers etc. Anyway the 9.08 option turned out to be a mistake. That particular train ground to a halt just before Chelmsford due to a broken down train in front, which meant I lost another 20 minutes before Liverpool Street (so was now running roughly about an hour late). Then after a short-ish wait for a circle line tube we got about two or three stops before we were all tipped out onto the platform as the tube in question was suddenly taken out of service.

I lost about another ten minutes because of this and then spent the rest of a very chilly damp morning feeling rather disappointed by the show gardens at Chelsea - the overwhelming impression being designers weren't really saying it with flowers this year. Green, lots of it, grass (even the odd designer weed) and hard landscaping seemed to be king. Me? Sorry but I love a good planting plan, a bit of floral magic and definitely a riot of colourful flowers.


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So somewhat dispirited I retraced my way back to Ippers only to find the 3pm train was also slightly delayed. Worse to come a horribly chatty and rather smelly drunk lurched on and sat across the aisle from me at Chelsmford and voila, I turned into Victoria Meldrew.

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