It has been a rather hectic week. Most of it, however, has gone to schedule. Wednesday was a particularly busy day – Constitution Committee, the annual field trip to Westminster by my students, and the launch of the Hansard Society’s Audit of Political Engagement 8 – but everything kept to time; what I did was what I had in the diary. Thursday was also very busy, but not everything went to plan. I had a series of meetings in Westminster, concluding with a talk to the Association of Former Members of Parliament. I spoke on reform of the Lords and it sparked a fairly lively discussion. Several agreed with me and one or two did not, clearly not having listened to what I was saying. The discussion ran over time, with the result I was late getting to Marylebone to catch a train to Banbury: I was speaking in the evening at Wroxton College just outside Banbury.
I caught the next available train, meaning I would be a little late for the lecture. The train was crowded. Rather than disturb passengers by using my mobile, I moved to the doorwell to ‘phone ahead to let the college know I would be delayed. The problem was waiting for a signal. Not only that, when I moved along the carriage, the movement of the train meant it was difficult staying upright. The result was that I managed to hit a number of people as well as bump into one or more laptops. One poor person was busy typing on her laptop when I breezed along and managed to almost shut the lid for her!
Things got worse when I got to Banbury. I rushed to catch a taxi. The driver of the first one – a van – signalled to me, I thought to get in but when I opened the door I realised he was signalling to get the next taxi as he already had a passenger in the back. The taxi I caught was then caught up traffic. Still, I got to the college – about twenty minutes late – and delivered the lecture. Fortunately, I had arranged to travel back to Westminster today (the House has been sitting to debate the situation in Libya) rather than last night – I am not sure I would have trusted myself making a return journey when I was in my accident-prone mood….