Every six weeks or so, I meet up with a friend in Reading. Today is one of those days.
I get to the station well ahead of my train departing because I’m that kind of traveller but I also like having time to watch the other passengers and try to guess what lives they lead just from what they’re wearing and how they stand on the platform. I enjoy the train journey too. Sometimes I like to look out of the window and sometimes I just read my Kindle.
When I arrive at Reading, I will meet my friend just inside John Lewis’s store. There we will have coffee and sticky buns (or similar) while we catch up on our news and then we’ll wander around the women’s fashions probably not finding much in colours that we like. Out onto the street again we will stroll to TK Maxx which has had little to temp us these last few visits but we must always have a good look round, just in case there’s a shoe bargain to be found. As we leave TK Maxx we’ll realise that we haven’t had lunch yet but will probably make do with soup in Pret à Manger and chat some more. Back to the shopping mall proper after that and more wandering. Depending on what we might each be looking for today or how tired we are by then, we could decide on a quick trawl around Marks and Spencer or Debenhams or both or neither although we usually manage at least one of them after which we’re glad of a sit down and it’ll be another coffee (no buns this time) or heading straight for dinner – usually tapas and a bottle of wine.
Just before 7pm we’ll walk quickly to the railway station, say our farewells and go to our separate platforms. Once my train is pulling out of the station, I’ll send a text to say I’m safely on the way home. I do this at my friend’s request because one day I mis-read the information board, got on the wrong train going in the wrong direction and after several changes of trains and a long solitary wait in a scary station, arrived home in the early hours of the morning, four hours later than I should have. I will most likely be collected from the station once I arrive home which is a lovely finish to the day although I wouldn’t really object to walking home from there. My friend and I will already have decided on the date of our next day out and all I have to do now is look forward to another grand day out!