Excited like a child, I arrived at Victoria ghost station far too early.

I purchased the ticket then went over the road to an old fashioned caf for a cuppa. Nice to see this old fashioned tired looking greasy spoon taking all the customers who would have shopped in Victoria station for their various needs and were doing a brisk trade. I had my usual bottle of frozen water in my rucksack and little else apart for sun creams for we were going to have the famous fish and chips of the British seaside so I didn’t need a picnic. I went to Victoria’s palatial loos that the lady at the ticket office said were lovely and very clean and new. She was right. Huge and with kind of copper doors and smart fixtures and a herbarium with palms in. I said to the bored attendant that these super loos should be awarded a medal or something in toilet awards if they existed, she proudly pointed at two certificates for best toilets stuck in the lower part of the glass in the palm palace.

Pink prosecco with “Mussolini” he became Muscles later when he behaved!

My mate Kim had brought out an old Italian chap who hadn’t been out in weeks and although elderly he was lugging around cold Prosecco in a cooler bag and Kim with her new hat shouted out “there she is” and rushed over to see me. Our bag carrier came next putting down the bag to show me the alcoholic contents and promptly coughed in my face. “he just coughed straight in my face Kim” I complain bemused. He then turned and hawked again “cover your bloody mouth when you cough you dirty old bastard” to which he replied he hadn’t had time it came so quickly. That old chestnut. We all laughed but he was better behaved after.

Now this man, who I later called Muscles as I couldn’t remember his name, got a bit above his station (geddit) and started bossing about station platforms and allsorts. Now as you all know I don’t take to that, I travel world wide solo and he was reminding me why! So I had to kindly tell him “Oi! Mussolini! We already know what we’re doing don’t start telling us stuff” He was unfazed the little devil.

It only took Kim half an hour to start heavily hinting about having a little dwinkie. Mussolini said we had to wait a bit but she wore him down and the fizz was opened. We all looked eagerly at the little champagne flutes that they had also brought and started sipping while cry out

“Ooo look, a cow” we exulted

“Look over there isn’t it green” we said in wonderment

“A farmhouse how lovely, wouldn’t it be wonderful to live there” we cooed

We were children on a train going to the seaside. The normal squabbles ensued about having refills and some pouting but all in all it was a lovely loud shouty train ride in our empty carriage.


Upon arrival we had organised a list of things to do so we were pointed to a mall were I bought some ciggies and then a Marks for another three bottles of fizz and crisps. Then Kim needed the loo and after a lot of fussing (I had told her that there were some open mens and disabled toilets everyone were using and why hadn’t she gone on the train like I told her?)

Sad old Curzon looking very bedraggled and on sale

Finally we were on our way to the beach and an oh so wonderful day. We found a perfect spot on the wooden decking step of an ice cream hut and settled in but of course I had to do my mad run to my beloved sea first for a quick worship. Then we settled down to just breathe the air.

Of course after some serious slurping of fizz, and naming the seagulls, (after doing the frowned upon thing of chucking crisps at them to watch a bit of a seagull punchup) we got a takeaway from the famous Harry Ramsdens. I just had haddock because I knew the portions were big. It was beautiful translucent flaky moist fish with a very fine batter (not as good as Hobsons tho!)

More hippos than people!

After fish, and chips for the other two piggies we had a wander up the beach then replete and happy, if a little pissed, we returned to the station and back to Londinium, just like children, sleepy, salty and happy ready to dream seaside dreams.