October 31st, 2003

Illuminati

Written yesterday, but strangely not posted.

Erin was in Glasgow all afternoon, picking up a few Whitby essentials and interviewing someone for Eligibles. She's completely exhausted at the moment, having been up late every night for a week and stressed all the to hell and back. She arrived back at 9:30, looking incredibly haggard, so I decided to cheer her up by asking to see her shopping (if there's one thing I've learned about women is that showing off the shopping is just as important as having bought it in the first place). You can imagine my surprise when her face went blank for a moment and then collapsed in on itself. She'd left the bag on the train.

After ten minutes of near-catatonia I managed to get her moving again, and into a series of phone calls to try and track her bag down. It's near impossible to get hold of people who actually work at a station, especially when the lost property department is closed by that time of night, but Erin managed to put just the right amount of urgency in her voice to get her passed along. The reason for needing the bag changed from "I'm being driven to Whitby at 11am tomorrow" to "I'm flying out at 9am tomorrow" and she managed to persuade someone at the Edinburgh office to phone the Glasgow office and ask them to leave the bag on the train so that it would still be there when it hit Edinburgh again at 11:30).

A phone call to check on this at 10:40 revealed that the Glasgow office had refused to put it back on the train, citing worries that it would get stolen. So Erin had to make three more calls just to _get_ the Glasgow phone number, then persuaded them that she took full responsibility for the bag arriving in one piece. It should arrive at 11:52.

I was despatched to the station (Erin, at this point, was suffering from the shakes from sheer nervous exhaustion), arriving at 11:35, plenty of time to phone Saint and arrange to sleep over in Stirling on Friday night after the Halloween party. I then stood on platform 14 and watched the arrival time change to 11:55, and then the actual time change to 00:00, then 00:05, then show the next arrival - the 00:21. At which point I panicked, strode in circles, harangued people getting off of the final Stirling train and then finally found a guard who told me that the train had arrived 15 minutes previously on platform 19 (with no announcement or display to tell anyone that).

I sprinted over there, to find a completely empty train. I did the length of it, looking for a guard or driver I could talk to, before finally taking a chance and pushing open the door to the driver's compartment - where I saw the bag. I grabbed it, headed swiftly for the taxi and thence homewards, where I collapsed about 10 minutes later into sleep.

And _that_ is why I'm a tad tired today.