The unthinkable happens
There were very few people waiting on the platform and so I had hopes that the trains were running pretty much as normal. But the first thing I heard was the announcement that the 07:09 and the 07:33 trains to Düsseldorf were cancelled. My train, the trusty 07:18 to Duisburg seemed to be on schedule. And indeed it said on the front it was really going all the way to Duisburg - yippee.
It was quite full and I was one of the last on so I had to stand, not a great hardship. But then there was a small commotion at the place where the Non-Body sits. A dapper gentleman in a suit, carrying a briefcase reached accross and shook the Non-Body's legs. At first there was no response and it seemed as though all the passengers were holding their breath. But the man didn't give up. This time he said, very loudly: please move your legs I want to sit there. There was spluttering and muttering but eventually the feet were withdrawn from the seat and the dapper gentleman sat down.
I have now become a nodding-acquaintance with a fellow passenger - one of the women from last evening - who gets on my bus. And that after only a week of commuting! The rest of the journey was totally uneventful exceptt that all the schoolchildren were very jolly and chattery because it was the last day of term today.
The journey home started well. On the radio they announced that all trains were running although there would be delays because some of the tracks had been reduced to single track.
1st bus: Just about on time
2nd bus: Caught it!
1st train: Caught it
2nd train: Caught it but it only made it as far as just past the second stop when the heavens opened and our second almighty storm of the week wreaked havoc on the trains. We lost electricity between us and Erkelenz, but further along from Erkelenz a tree took down some overhead lines then lay, inconveniently accross the tracks. Our train had to limp back to the previous stop.
Actually, it was going to push on to Aachen the final destination, but via Köln and it would take 2 hours (opposed to the half hour it should normally take). The rest of us, however, got off and ran through torrential rain to the front of the station.
While I was on the train I got a call from Chef who told me that it was extremely windy in Erkelenz and that he and the Gruesome Twosome had been cycling home from town when the bad weather struck. Indeed Gruesome #2 had been blown off her bike.
Predictably there were no Deutsche Bahn staff available to point us in the direction of buses. Actually, there were no buses scheduled or otherwise. Knowing how these situations pan out, I shouted above the noise of the rain that I was taking a taxi to Erkelenz and did anyone want to come. Blank looks. So I jumped in a taxi and 20 minutes later he let me out in slightly less than torrential rain where my bike is parked.
As the sky wasn't as black as it had been I decided to cycle home. Luckily the wind had died down and the rain started to slacken off. But I was still absolutely wringing wet when I got home. But at least it was a whole hour earlier than yesterday!
No idea how either of us will get to work tomorrow though. What an exciting life we lead!