I am a member of a secret group on Facebook full to the brim of awesome ladies and adorable babies, We had talked about meeting up a few times but the only issue we had was the fact that everyone was dotted around the country and there was never a settlement on when/where and what time would be best for all of us..
It went quiet about the subject for a while, but one of the wonderful ladies decided to mention it again as one of the dates that had been picked was slowly appearing in the calendar and the subject came up again, I convinced my mum and..
Off to Birmingham we go!!!
R and I stayed over my mums house on the Friday night, our train in the morning was at 8:20 so it made a bit of sense to just have us stay over the night before rather than get a very panicky me onto a train all by myself. We woke up around 5 am, well R woke up at 5am, we just got up with her and got ready, packed up the buggy for the journey and was out of the house by around 7:30am..
It is safe to say I was extremely anxious about getting onto the train, and was practically forced on thanks to some helpful ladies who helped me lift the buggy onto the carriage, I think I am more scared of the tracks and the edge of the train than the train itself as I was okay once I got onto it, but I told my mum off a few times about walking to close to the track and insisted on walking as close to the wall as I possibly could..
We got to Cambridge with plenty of time to spare so we grabbed some much needed hot beverages, mum managed to spill some down her white top but a safety pin to the rescue hid it from view, the Cross Country train arrived on time and we got a little lost finding which carriage we needed to get on and got on the wrong one, but a wonderful ticket inspector told us to remain where we were until he could find us a good place to sit and got us somewhere we could leave the buggy.
One thing I have to say about the Cross Country trains is how terrible they were, cramped and on the return journey had no pull down baby changing unit so I had to change R on the dirty toilet floor! bit annoyed about that
But we made it, at 11:35 we pulled into a city we both have never visited before, the station platform was tiny, I hated it but we got off quickly into the amazing station, it was a shopping center that happened to have a train station inside it! we stopped to check maps and see where we needed to go (got lost of course) and headed towards the Think Tank. we did get lost and we did have to ask for directions many times, but we found it in the end and what an amazing place it is!
If you are ever near Birmingham I recommend going along and seeing it, so many fun interactive things for the children to play with and some of the bits inside are incredible!
After a little walk around I finally saw someone I recognized and then found everyone else and their wonderful babies! R was itching to get out of her buggy and go play with her friends… (and eat stones)
I’m honestly so glad I managed to do this, I am usually the most shy anxious person when it comes to meeting new people and will go hide in a corner, but I didn’t feel that here, I didn’t know how to talk to them, which i guess was part of my anxiety but it was so wonderful meeting them finally after talking for so long online., there was a few ladies who I wish had come along, but of course there is always a next time.
Because we turned up later than everyone else we didn’t manage to get wrist bands so when I left to go find some food, which was just a packet of quavers and two twix bars, I couldn’t get back into the play area so mum and I decided to go find the big shopping center in the city and find something more nutritious to eat, we found a few other ladies but not the whole group and said a quick goodbye.. I wish I had gotten back in and said goodbye properly.. I fully blame us getting lost in the first place…
We had another walk around the train station and look into all the shops, mum grabbed herself a clean t-shirt from John Lewis and quickly get changed and by this point R was getting really cranky and fed up so we found a Starbucks and they warmed up some milk for her, which I am so grateful for as she drained her bottle.. clearly needed it!
Our train to leave was at 6:22 but one had arrived at 6:14 and I got into such a panic, one of the things that keep me from going mad is having everything on a schedule, and the fact that the train turned up early freaked me out and made me panic like mad, but we got on, I calmed down and we found our seats.. and it turns out that the train we sat on was going all the way to Stansted Airport, making us realize we hadn’t had changed in the first place, and could’ve simple got onto the Cross Country at the airport!
Now we know eh? We got back to mums house around half 10, and just went straight to bed, slept all the way through until 7 when Mum woke me up with a cup of tea.
I honestly cannot believe I did it, I went on something I am scared of, faced my fear, met people I know on the internet and went to a strange city.. it was such a lovely day and I cannot wait til the next meet up in the future, I hope more come along and I get there in time!
Thank you to my wonderful BCApril ladies and babies! R and I love you all very much.4
Until next time