I mentioned in a recent blog, in reference to train travel “I didnít want to rely on being able to get a snack from the on-board buffet – Iíve made that mistake before, and Iíll probably blog about it sometime”.

I was coming back from a walking holiday in the Yorkshire Dales with my chum Mark the Buddhist – oddly, not far from where I am now: We were camped about a mile from the railway station and our train was fairly early, so we decided that rather than have breakfast before leaving the campsite, we’d pack up, walk into Settle, and get something to eat at the station. Needless to say, it being a Sunday in the middle of nowhere, the station buffet was closed, but we weren’t downhearted – we’d checked the information and knew that the train from Settle to Leeds – which formed the first part of our journey – had a trolley service.

Except it didn’t.

Because the train was delayed, we didn’t have time to get anything at Leeds – we just had to grab rucksacks and run to catch the London train. Which also didn’t have a buffet, although we were promised it would open at Sheffield. It didn’t and by now we were starting to suffer a bit. To make matters worse it was a stinking hot day and the train was overcrowded – you couldn’t even stand up and walk around to ease your legs, or you’d lose your seat.

Then the train broke down, and with it, the air conditioning.

Needless to say, this led to us being late getting in to London, and although we didn’t really think we’d get from Euston to Waterloo in time for the train we wanted, we decided to have a try. We made it with seconds to spare, but of course we didn’t have time to buy anything to eat on the way. Why worry? Our run of gastronomic bad luck couldn’t go on that long could it? Surely THIS train would have the advertised buffet service?

I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

So that was the day I started in the Yorkshire Dales, and finally got to have my breakfast at half past seven in the evening at the chinese takeaway in Totton. And that’s why I always now carry emergency supplies on the train.

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