Nerves are a funny thing aren’t they? They take over your whole mind, body and soul (bowel movements) and can change your personality, outlook on life and break habits of a lifetime all in one wobbly-kneed swoop.
Let me take you back to Wednesday of last week. It was a warm, sticky day which was absolutely ideal to be spending 7 hours doing a round trip on the train to Leeds for a presentation. I was recovering from sunstroke from the previous day (it was the sun shining through the car, dehydration, nerves for the presentation, that kind of thing) as I lugged my laptop bag, handbag and very large water bottle to avoid the shivering sweats that occurred the night before due to dehydration and made my way to the platform.
Sitting on the Virgin train was an absolute dream. It was a glorious day to be riding on a well-ventilated locomotive with lashings of air conditioning to keep cool. I had a window seat and was located close enough to the loo to pop there without having to dodge, hurdle and cartwheel down the aisle to avoid all the feet, bags and ENTIRE CHILDREN protruding out the side of seats blocking my path, it was lovely.
I was opposite a rather funny looking woman, which meant lots of tactful ways to look at her face without our eyes meeting (worst thing that can happen on public transport) so I could try and figure out why she looked a bit odd.
Avoiding eye contact was exhausting enough without the added mountain of pressure that was hanging over my head for my presentation. I could feel that I was a bit over excited from the adrenaline so I was smiling at the conductor a bit too much, I was a bit too grateful when my onboard refreshment was provided and I repeatedly had ‘nervous arm’ which is where you get so excited your arm spasms up into a wobble away from your body (yes, you do look like a lunatic).
I was nerve-cited.
I don’t mind doing presentations, but I wasn’t confident on the content and there were a few big wigs there so I was worried I would get my words muddled/mixed up/ merged or even worse, panic poem.
OR EVEN WORSE a mix of the two
“Here are the first full fart… I mean … first full charts… for you to see… sell lots of stuff to become an early retiree!”
Exactly. Ridiculous. Even when I was practicing what to say I said ‘inqueased quota’ and that was me just sat in my car, minding my own business.
No actually, wait. Before I go on I have to tell you.
I hate presentations.
I could never lie to you!
Anyway, at my train changeover I seized my opportunity to get some food and this is where I really went all out. I wandered over to the nearest food stand (literally followed my nose) and stopped in my tracks (ha – unintentional train pun). I stared. Salivated. Excited arm started to flail around as if independent to my body.
I was dumbfounded about the…size of it.
It was huge.
It was the same length as my arm from elbow to wrist.
But I had to have it.
It was aptly named MEGA SAUSAGE ROLL and oh my, what a treat. I began chomping through the piping hot sausage meat on my TransPennine train (bloody horrible compared to the luxuries of Virgin rail!) and got half way down this golden flaky monster and had to grind to a halt.
Now, just to explain, I never, ever save food for later.
Later is always 30 seconds after I’ve re-wrapped it and stuck it in the fridge.
But it was the nerves, I couldn’t eat it all. Nerve-cited apparently means you immediately have portion control as a skill.
I wrapped up the remaining 11″ of sausage roll and stood up to shuffle down to the loo.
Laptop bag, water, handbag, papers all bunched up against my body so nothing slipped, like when you are carrying your washing to the machine but inevitably leave a trail of socks and pillowcases throughout the house.
I went into the loo (which was right next to a full carriage) and as I went to hang my stuff on the door, what can only be described as a firework of pastry exploded from my person as I released all my belongings from my grasp. This obviously made me crack up laughing. Loud, cackly laughs coming from the smelly poo cupboard that is a train toilet.
“God if anyone hears this they’re going to think your coconuts!” inner Sarah suggests.
I subtly emerged from the loo, avoiding eye contact (as always) and did that thing we all do where we want to pretend something didn’t just happen.
I was suddenly looking around the train as if to say “did anyone else hear that laugh?”
“How did all these pastry flakes get on the floor?”
I caught the eye of a passenger. He definitely knew it was me. I was probably still red in the face.
The presentation and rest of the journey went fine (thanks for asking). I didn’t say ‘inqueased’ or get lost which were my main worries. I did knock over a glass of water when I sat at the table, but that is inevitable considering the excited arm.
I settled down to return home on the train and I remembered my delicious travel companion in my handbag was yet to be devoured. As I reached in to get the 2nd half of the sausage roll, I remembered the pastry explosion in the toilet (errr!) and again, let out an almighty laugh.
Not on the phone.
Not reading anything.
Just sat on a train from Manchester Piccadilly.
I’m usually very good at holding in laughs when in public, cramped places.
In fact, I can safely say I have never giggled in a lift.
But it’s all the pressure.
The people’s faces around me! Honestly, I thought they were going to pull the emergency lever and get me escorted off the train.
Never again. Never eat on trains!!! Never save it for later!!