Escalator Athletics


Trained today at work on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of defibrillators. Thus, if commuter keel over with cardiac arrest, has a 20% better chance of survival now if Post Traumatic Commuter in vicinity. Hope to God that never happens. Asked trainer where defibrillators located at Waterloo station, airily told they on platforms and I just have to look out for them. Excellent, as hapless victim of cardiac arrest lie  zonked out on main concourse, Post Traumatic Commuter can pause ceaseless pumping on chest cavity to run up and down 21 platforms plus Eurostar departure lounge in desperate search of defibrillators, so conspicuously located that Post Traumatic Commuter has not noticed them on any of previous journeys in and out of Waterloo for the last 16 years.


Have pizza with N in Swallow Street, Piccadilly.  N not happy at being rushed through second cup of coffee, as need to catch last train from Waterloo, and not sure if this leaves at 11.50 or 12.20  but feel best to assume the former as do not wish to spend night at Waterloo station.  Dash to Piccadilly Circus, run up first escalator at Waterloo, demonstrating supreme cardiac fitness, elastic athleticism etc to Underground staff watching CCTV screens.  Make great effort not to look up in desperation to see how far away top of escalator is, and only have to decrease pace slightly before reaching top.  Not out of breath at all. Definitely won’t be needing defibrillator.


Run up second escalator to main station concourse, which reach just in time to hear station announcement saying ‘The train at Platform 3 is the 11.50 to Guildford, calling at Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Earlsfield, Wimbledon, Surbiton, Hinchley Wood, Claygate…’  Why is train not stopping at Esher? Study departure board.  No matter how long pace up and down, still can’t see Woking to Weybridge train.  Next train to Esher 12.15.  Every train departing from Waterloo for Esher leaving at 20 past and 50 to, from crack of dawn until just before midnight excepting except the one I want to actually get, the 11.50, which isn’t on their schedule.   Bloody typical.  Must take evening class in mind reading.  Sit down on comfy metallic seat in front of Threshers, the one where the loonies congregate, and grumpily read free newspaper. Finally get home at 1.00 am.  Take taxi from station, fortunately not Iraqi.

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