Well it had been quite an exciting day the day before with the AA experience so I arranged to be up to Manchester before my mates 8.29 train to Whaley Bridge from Piccadilly. He was on his way to work there, so I told him to bring the phone and I'd meet him at the station.
Due to the previous days events I managed to sneak in an extra 20 minutes in bed and headed up to Manchester at 7. I was giving myself 1hr20 to get there from Birmingham.. a 100 mile trip... wishful thinking.
My first strategic decision was to take the M6 toll.. for the sake of £4 it could get me my moko a few hours faster.. and as I was denied it for the last two weeks (having been in France) I was itching to get hold of it.
I took the M6toll and managed to get to the top of it by 7.23 This was good time so far so I relaxed a bit. Traffic was fine until after Jct. 17 on the M6 (Sandbach). There the traffic was dead stop-start and I almost had a chav in a Blue Rover 216Si come up the back of me. Instead all I witnessed was a spotty faced teen shouting and swearing at me as much as he could. Fantastic. I was still doing ok for time though.
I got onto the M56 into Manchester and my heart sank as I hit a queue. I got onto Pricess Road (spine road into Manchester) at 20 past 8, with about 10 minutes to get to Piccadilly. I phoned Andy to ask what other stops the train stopped at - he replied with just Stockport. No way was I getting there.
So no moko.
*ring ring* "Hi, it's Andy - the train stops at Levenshulme too."
That I could make - I turned the car around and headed through fallowfield at a fair rate of knots to reach Levenshulme station. I pulled the car up on the side of the road (on cobbles) and raced up onto the platform to see the train approaching). I then got a huge smile as the box was passed out of the door of the train safely into my waiting hands.
I am now a true geek.