Time 6.30 pm leaving the flat walking towards Dalston overland, myself and Asako had left it quite fine to make it to The Royal Albert Hall on time for 7.30 (I should point out no admissions once the concert has started.) but it should only be a 40 minuet journey with a 15 minuet walk / or short cab ride from south Ken.
Time 6.45 boarding the train at Dalston and finding out Hammersmith trains are not in service this is no problem as we need the District line, but Asako checks the web for any further line closures, just as we pull in to Whitechaple to change for the District line we discover this also is canceled - however not trusting technology and not having a back up plan I insist we get off at Whitchapel anyway (just incase.) i phone was right no District ! crap what now ?
Time 6.55 here is the plan, stay on the east London line to Canada water then take the Jubilee line to Westminster from there the district line is working so, district line to south Ken, then we will have to take a cab because all the messing around.
Time 7.10 Jubilee line suspended from Waterloo so a dash down to the Northern line not sure what the plan was from there, not that it matters Asako said it and she was right, the only way we will make it now was to take a cab, let’s go!
Ran up the stairs I hailed a cab Asako got some cash (I wanted to pay for the cab but I knew Asako doesn’t like shouting for cabs in the street, besides she had already got to the ATM.)
Time 7.25 in the cab dashing past the dear old queens gaff Buckingham Palace, Asako was changing out of her flats and into her high heals (these are very beautiful but in equal measures impractical for activities such as running for a bus or trying to get to The Royal Albert Hall on time)
By the time we had made Knightsbridge and had the Royal Albert Hall in sight (just!) I made it 7.28. We paid the taxi driver and started to walk no point sitting in traffic when you can see your destination. Marching as quickly as we could eventually Asako said I should run and she would catch up. So run I did, it would be a shame to have gone through all this to be turned away at the last.
60 seconds until doors close, I knew it was entrance number 4 so that is where I headed when I arrived sweating and out of breath the door steward advised me that the tickets I had were the originals, (these had got lost in the post and arrived after Asako had re ordered some replacements) because of this he could only accepted the replacements ! I should go to the Box office ! What ? ok ! off I dashed round the building to the box office taking directions from red waist coat wearing stewards on root.
By the time I got there Asako had nearly caught up and as I was explaining to the lady in the box office who had seen the urgency in my face and taken my enquiry before a tourist, Asako was explaining to another lady who summoned me quickly. Normally I would point out I was dealing with it over here, however with only 20 seconds to go I was happy for any ones help, and as she stood nearer the entrance I came at once I explained again (still out of breath)"oh" said the lady "where are the re prints ?" "at home" said I"at home ? well you better go through quickly take the lift to the 3rd floor" we were already running to the lift door, that was in “Indiana Jones” style closing. I hoped in and pressed the open door button for Asako. (At this point I might have scared a staff member who got out quickly.)
On arriving on the 3rd floor (I don’t know 2 seconds to go ??) the member of staff couldn’t be more helpful he must have been warned of our late arrival via the walkie talky, he opened the doors and guided us to our isle, Just as every one was about to stop applauding, it felt like they were applauding us. It had been quite a chase ! and we deserved it !
The are a few things I take from this story, 1 - always listen to your wife. 2 - check travel plans at the weekends especially in London 3 - allow a extra 20 - 30 minuets travel time if you have to be some where.
But what I get from this experience most is never give up!! even when the are only seconds to go you can make it ! True that if you listen to your wife you might make it with some more time to spare but that wouldn’t be so much fun would it.
Oh by the way Wagner, Mahler and Beethoven were great! It wasn’t them in person they are dead but the concert was beautiful and we had a lovely evening.
No time estimations were exaggerated to enhance the excitement of this story.
Thank you to the helpful staff at The Royal Albert Hall.
(Boris sort out the weekend travel in London please:-)