Whenever I’m going somewhere, whether to meet friends, or just for a timed event, I tend to be pretty early. Stupidly early, in some cases – mainly because I just figure “Well, once I’m there, I can find something to do“. At worst, I have a Kindle and a phone, so I’ll always be able to do something with that time.
I don’t expect others to follow the same thing, though – that’s just a world of hurt, because then I’d still be earlier than the expected early time, and it can get stupid. (I have one friend who’s of a similar mind-set, and we ended up being – unconsciously – competitively early for a while, ’til we realised it was just getting dumb)
Sometimes, though, it turns out that there’s a good reason for being early to things. Saturday was one of those times.
I was going in to London for a concert in the evening, and then booked a lunch at Hibiscus as well. My plan was to park up at an Underground station I knew well, Tube into Central London (well, kinda – I still wanted to walk as well), go for lunch, wander around London a bit/lot, get back up to the concert venue, meet up with another friend, go to the gig, and then get back to the car and drive us both home. That plan survived until the first stage…
What I hadn’t realised was that the Northern Line (the only line from the station in question) was shut for the weekend. No trains at all. Of course, London Underground being the useless shitbricks they are, there were no signs at the entrance to the station or car-park, so I’d paid for parking (fortunately only £2 for the day), walked into the station, to be faced with “Nope, no trains”. The useless bell-end outside had no idea how I’d get back from the gig at all – well, he suggested taking no less than four buses, at midnight on Saturday-into-Sunday. So that was no use.
But, I’m well early at this point. So it’s time for a replan. Drive down to the concert venue, find somewhere close-ish to park, and juggle things from there.
And that’s what happened. Drive down (only about four miles, in fairness) and find a side-road with parking. Permits only, but only Monday-Friday. It’s a Saturday, so I’ll go for that. Check the parking meter. Nope, that Mon-Fri only too. Double-check with the online-app for paying, and nope, can’t take any money for that parking, sir.
Then start walking to find where the hell I am – I know I’m closeish, but not exactly where – turn the corner, and oh look, there’s the venue. Literally two minutes, car-to-venue. Wander past to find a bus into central London, oh look, there’s one that’ll do it, hop on, and job done.
That entire re-plan and reorganisation, and I was still at Hibiscus 45 minutes early…
So sometimes there’s a really good reason for being idiotically early to things. If I’d been cutting things fine already, that change would’ve completely chiffed me for the day, and been uber-stressful all the way. As it was, it was still an absolute doddle, and everything went well.
Indeed, it actually made life easier – because coming out of the gig, we were in the car and out of London before we’d probably have even got to the original station…