It's 06.50 and I'm on my way to Manchester on board the early train to Piccadilly train station to deliver a street photography workshop, young women board with plain faces, we’re all grappling for an overcrowded seat, the majority of people wired to their phones. Nobody speaks with their long faces.
One of the young women grabs a seat next to me, she sits, earphones plugged in and then with a shuffle out comes the make-up bag, brushes, blushers and mascara spread out in front of her with her water bottle on the side.
She then expertly starts to apply her make up as the train jolts from side to side creating her identity for the day. She is like a number of other young women on the train turning from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly.
Nobody speaks as the train rolls on from station to station. The guard checks my ticket, “tickets please tickets please”. We’re now nearing Manchester but just before we hit the first of the Manchester stations the train stops, this always fills me with dread.. what’s happening?
We wait and then the announcement tells us that this train will now terminate at Victoria due to water on the line and passengers are requested to make their own way to their destination. This is not good news as I need to be in the Northern Quarter to meet my client who has travelled a long way for a one to one with me.
So I rushed out of the station with everyone else where I hit the taxi rank along with all the other passengers, I finally got my taxi where £20.00 later I get to my destination, The Koffee Pot slightly late, I meet my client who was waiting for his breakfast so as I joined him and we chatted about photography and the plan for the day.
We bond and have a good day exploring the Northern Quarter while dodging the torrential rain showers. Then it's back to Piccadilly train station for the journey home. But hope soon turns into despair as my train is delayed and is now leaving from an outside platform, No14, and it's crammed with no sign of how long we are going to be waiting.
As more and more trains are delayed and then cancelled the platform is becoming dangerous as more and more passengers are crammed together like sardines. Officials are trying to hold people back from the edge, things are only going to get worse I think and by this point, after a long day I'm in pain and I’ve had it.
After what seemed like hours, we finally get an announcement saying that my train is still at Manchester Airport with water on the line stopping it from moving and we are advised to find an alternative route home. What am I going to do? I can’t even get online to check for other trains as my phone signal is poor. Fortunately I overheard a group of men talking about a train leaving for Newcastle, right I’m going for that. So back to the main concourse and like all the others in the same boat dash for that train only to find that it too is delayed! For goodness sake I’m never going to get home!
After about another 30 minute wait it finally turns up. I board, grab a seat and ring Pat my wife to ask her to pick me up from Newcastle. At last I can relax with a couple of small bottles of red wine which starts to ease my pain. Pat picks me up and drives me home.
What a day!
If you want to join me on my next street photography workshop in Manchester follow the link.