TV It’s 3:45 in the afternoon on October 18th 2006 and I’m clock watching.
I need to be in Manchester, by 6:15 and I can't be late.
I'm in Liverpool.
Work, which isn't exactly in the centre of town, ends and I dash out onto the road and start walking.
A taxi comes.
And we get stuck in traffic on Renshaw Street.
I'm clock watching.
A train is leaving in five minutes.
Get to Lime Street Station and make the rookie mistake of paying for my taxi with a ten pound note.
Wait seemingly ages for driver to find change.
Dash across the concourse.
The train is still there.
Reach the ticket booth.
Order the ticket.
The card machine splutters through the pin acceptance.
Run through ticket checkers, just as the conductor blows his whistle.
I roar, out loud, for the first time in my life.
Stroll back onto the concourse.
New plan, new train, in five minutes.
Buy pasta meal deal to tide me over.
Dash through and get on train.
Driver tells me it'll be at Manchester Oxford Road for 5:33.
Plenty of time to dash across town.
Eat dinner as we pass through Warrington Central.
Then at 5:26 the train stalls.
We sit in the carriage, all glancing at each other.
A girl reading a book smiles at me.
Then she smiles at everyone else and I realise I'm not being singled out.
The driver announces that a train in front of us has broken down and he's waiting for instructions for them to push it into the station.
I'm getting worried.
Train moves again.
In the station.
Run across the bridge between platforms, dash out of the station and the free bus I was expecting that would have taken me to the station near the cinema is missing.
Or not there.
Dash out onto Oxford Road, and jump into a taxi, amid the rain.
Give my destination, and I'm travelling again.
Stuck in traffic.
I'm watch watching.
It starts at 6:15.
I dash through the foyer and stop someone to ask them where I need to go.
He tells me.
I dash up the escalator, through three floors.
Notice someone else going in the same direction to the same place.
After some tooing and frowing with security ('Half of the names aren't on my list and I'm just a temp', she says) I dash through into the place where I'm doing the thing.
I sit at the front.
I'm inevitable chatting with the person sitting next to me.
I'm about to describe how I got here, because I can't believe what I went through to get here, and I ask them how they got here, expecting a bus, perhaps some walking.
'Coventry', they say simply.
Always remember that someone else has probably had a greater trial in life than you.
Lights down. Audience hush.
Then Everything Changes.
Not that I was ready for it.