Posted by: rowenawilcox | May 21, 2010

There’s NO place like home

 The paved yellow-brick journey nightmares are made of:

Ever wondered how Judy Garland looked so perfect after her trip to Oz? Well here’s the secret…she had red, glitzy, magical shoes and didn’t have to wait two and a half hours, in the pouring rain, for her train to arrive. Oh, the joys of public transport.

Public joke I believe would be a more appropriate term!

Waiting on the dirty platform; alone, in the rain and whilst wearing suede boots is horrific. A disaster. A true calamity. ‘Ding! Dong! The boots are dead!’

The kiosk that you are meant to go to if you need any help should be avoided at all costs as the “information desk” is simply lacking in, well, information.

The ‘workers’-and I use the term loosely – look at you like you have three heads, treat you like you have just landed here from a planet far, far away and end each sentence with love. “Alright love?…You lost love?…Have you missed your train love?”

RUBY SLIPPERS: Dorothy's fantastic ticket home.

“Yes! I’m fan-bloody-tastic. I’m cold. I’m soaked. I’m tired. I just want to get home. Oh, and for the record, I’m not your love!”

Taking into consideration my mood, you’d assume that getting on the train would be a huge relief, a prize-winning moment of glory – the equivalent of achieving seven golds at the Olympics or even comparable to the triumphant feeling of being the first to place a red, glitzy, magical foot on Mars right? Wrong!

I’m 14 stops from home and have ended up sitting directly behind a family of four who have decided to take this opportunity to plan their whole night’s viewing: “Emmerdale. Corrie. Eastenders. Corrie(again).” Boring!

I feel like I have been summoned here on this journey and, to be frank, would much rather sit next to a bunch of flying monkeys. Maybe even the Wicked Witch Of The West herself for that matter.

The two young boys behind are no better to listen to as they openly discuss: their steroid abuse, how many times they go to the gym each day and where they are going on the weekend.

The conversation changes slightly when the blond, spiky-haired, pumped-up, fake-tanned boy on the right asks the other, equally orange boy: “How many birds d’ya reckon you’re gonna pull tonight ‘en”? C’mon, lads, get a brain.

Aaaarrrgggghhh! I’m 12 stops from home and I cannot take anymore.

Sitting to my left are two girls who have stuffed themselves since they sat down on their smelly, stained, stinking seats. Crisps. Chocolate. Pasties. Need I go on? They have actually eaten enough food to feed the people of Oz four times over. All in the time it takes to say, “tickets please.”

I feel sick.

10 stops from home and I already know that my companions for this hellish journey include: a family of serial TV junkies, two food junkies and, as it turns out, two actual junkies. All thrown in for good measure.

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD: Dorothy with her straw, tin and fuzzy friends- Scarecrow, Tin-man and Lion.

9 stops from home and I am already clicking my heels together whilst chanting. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. Guess what? It hasn’t worked. I’m still stuck on this stupid train and, if anything, my chanting has actually made me look like an odd-ball, sitting here talking to myself.

8 stops from home and I have already made a mental note-“NEVER EVER use public transport again!”

7 stops from home and there’s a middle-aged man persistently peering at me over the top of his broadsheet. C’mon, get some courage and stop.

4 stops from home and the pervert is still staring. And still trying to hide the fact he is doing so. I’m not blind! I can see the four-foot high, towering pages mysteriously bobbing up and down with a gormless face peeping over the top, every couple of minutes, you know.

1 stop from home and the lady who has rhythmically sneezed, coughed and blown her nose since departing from Cardiff Queen Street, an hour ago, has left the train. Although, she’s probably grinning from ear to ear, feeling ecstatic that she’s succeeded in being extremely annoying for the whole tedious journey. C’mon, Lady, have a heart.

Hey, she should be celebrating as, in actual fact, she has single-handedly passed on the plague to every single passenger. Now she can retire home. Mission accomplished!

Finally! I am home and now the proud owner of: the complete knowledge of TV listings until April 2020, a stalker, the plague, oh, and not forgetting-a pair of ruined, black, suede, lace-up boots.

Ok, so it’s Aberdare and not Kansas, my friends are not a lion, a scarecrow and a tin-man and the pavement is certainly not paved with yellow bricks. There are no munchkins wandering about and we don’t all live in fear of the Wicked Witch Of the West.

We don’t have a wonderful wizard to grant our wishes and no one cycles around with their dog in a wicker basket attached to the handle-bars. There is no Good Witch Glinda to help us get home and no shops sell red, magical, glitzy shoes, but it is home…and there’s NO place like it!



  1. […] Tweet_Tip: Why not check out an earlier Wizard of Oz post. […]

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