Monday, December 21, 2009

Waiting for Eurostar

I spoke too soon on Friday. We are still here, fallout of Eurostar's cancellations due to 'uncommonly cold weather' and electrics insulating issues.

To say I'm pissed off is an understatement. I have no idea if we'll be able to get to the UK or not by Christmas. Eurostar have said that even if they get the trains going again, they'll have a hard enough time managing with the people who are already booked on trains let alone coping with all the extras like me and the boys.

There is no contingency plan, no effort to find an alternative way to get people to travel, like on the ferries. The engineers may be working like mad to solve the problem, but what about the rest of the workforce? They could have been trained to put into action Plan Disaster Mitigation. Mind you, I suppose cooperation with the ferries is unthinkable seeing as they cut so dramatically into their market share.

I was hoping to see my family who I only see twice a year - hoping to have a proper British Christmas and being there for my mother who needs me at a time like this with so much to do and a totally dotty dad to contend with.

I read some comments online from people who were obviously going nowhere for Christmas and criticising those who were wailing about travelling, or not travelling. They said stuff like we should 'suck it up', be flexible, stop whinging, no one's died (how do they know???) and so on, which is somewhat patronising and dismissive of those who are not going on holiday exactly but hoping to spend time with their families who they might not see very often. Arrangements have been made, often months in advance, and undoing those arrangements is a major pain in the arse not to say a huge disappointment for everyone.

So here I am, waiting, not knowing, not able to make plans. The icing on the cake is that I've gone down with a bad cold/mini flu and spent yesterday afternoon in bed so I don't even feel mentally up to coping with the strain of thinking about alternative action.

Not happy.


  1. Poor you, Sarah. This is a real bugger, isn't it? We have friends here in Brussels who haven't a hope in hell of getting to England for the holidays.
    I read today that P&O are going to help Eurostar shift the angry passengers. All very fine - how are you meant to get from Montpellier to Calais during this week when all the SNCF trains are already super over-booked.
    Talking of P&O, we went to England for the day on Thursday - we spent three hours on the port parking in Calais before the boat sailed and seven hours on the way back sitting in Dover. No info, no messages, and so so so so cold. And the bar/Burger King closes at 22H. We eventually sailed at midnight and got back to Brussels at 7H - exhausted.
    I am writing to P&O today as although we had cheap tickets there was absolutely no reason we didn't sail - wind was cold but only force 6 and as far as I know snow doesn't stop a boat from sailing ...
    Good luck, but if I were you I would get in food for Christmas!

  2. I'd been thinking about you oddly enough when I heard the news, and wondered if you would be caught up in the fall out. So I was unsurprised to read of your problems. Fingers crossed it works out! Think I too would get in some food. Good luck and Happy Christmas!

  3. Thank you, ladies!

    DD - your trip sounds hellish.

    I have a Mtp-Paris ticket for tomorrow morning and am thinking that maybe the thing to do would be to go to Gare du Nord and hope for the best.

    Taking lots of food and drink!

  4. Your picture suggests you may have discovered Calvin and Hobbes? He makes the best snowmen ever!

  5. You're right, Hausfrau. I thought this picture superbly conjured up my mood.


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