For the past four weeks I have been getting up early on Monday mornings to go to Chinley, in Derbyshire, for counselling sessions organised through Occupational Health at work. It’s very CBT oriented, and I don’t do CBT, but I’ve managed to orient the last couple of sessions towards orthodox face-to-face counselling, which has been a lot more useful.

The point is that Chinley – which is the nearest place the organisation actually has a Counsellor – is very difficult to get to from Stockport by public transport. There’s no direct route. After a lot of online research, I worked out that I needed two buses – one into Stockport, then one to Marple – and the train from Marple to Chinley, each way. And be back for work in the afternoon.

There’s only one train each way stops at Chinley every hour, at 14 minutes past for Sheffield and 5 minutes to for Manchester. Given that my appointments are at 10.45an, and there’s a twenty minute walk from the station to my Counsellor’s cottage – 95% of which is uphill in the current heatwave conditions – I can only arrive on time by leaving Stockport bus station on the 9.14am to Marple, and hanging around Chinley for the 12.55pm train back.

Given that my shift starts at 1.00pm, this has meant that, except for the week I was on leave, my manager has had to book me an hour’s Medical Appointment Leave from 1.00 to 2.00pm.

All has been well so far until last week when he started querying this. He was certain there was a direct train from Stockport that would be quicker, cheaper and more convenient, and he found it for me on Network Rail’s Journey Planner.

I was stunned. none of this had shown up on my research, and I’d sat at Chinley Station watching trains not stop enough times to be dubious, but there it was. I didn’t need that hour’s Medical Appointment Leave.

So, despite many misgivings, I put his plan into practice this morning, going out later to catch the 10.02am train at Stockport Railway Station, to arrive at 10.21am. I’d just have to be that bit more brisk up the hill. Atleast it was cooler today, and I was better able to maintain a decent pace than I’ve been lately.

On the other hand, I nearly made a mess of it and triggered that old paranoia by suddenly realising I should have started off sooner. The 203 being late, for the millionth time, didn’t help. I sweated, strained and marched to the Station, baulked at the queue in the Tucket Office and paid on the train. And at 10.21am, I hopped off. At Disley (for Lyme Park). On the A6. Nowhere near Chinley. With no chance of getting there for 10.45am.

How did this disaster happen? That’s why this post is titled Brainfart. Because last week I had one. I completely lost the word Chinley and talked about my Counsellor being in Disley. I couldn’t even remember the name Chinley until my Counsellor mentioned it when I rang her from Disley Station to apologise.

So, it was all my fault. My mamager’s well-meaning help – he’s in the process of moving to Disley, hence his knowledge of its train links to Stockport – was correct, but for the wrong parameters. If i get charged for missing thissessio on less than 48 hours, I have no-one else to blame.

And one more thing to worry about. I’ve noticed that I can forget things I know, usually in matters trivial, but this is a bit more important.Did I just have ‘a senior moment’? Or is it the first sign of something a bit more sinister? I really don’t need that on top of everything else.


2 thoughts on “Brainfart

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