I made it out of the office on time and the 16:17 bus was nearly on time. This time I was fired up and ready to go so when I got to the stop before the one I usually got off, I jumped off the bus in a sprightly manner and walked very briskly to the next stop.
There was another woman walking briskly, but not as briskly as me so I got to the next stop first. When we got there I asked her if she usually went for the 87 from the 71 and she told me that one of the bus drivers had suggested it.
So all was going swimmingly but the 87 was a little late. So that left me on the platform at Anrath at 16:45 with the 16:38 train apparently gone. The next one due that I could take would be at 17:08, which is the one I'd get if I'd missed my bus and had to wait for the next.
When, suddenly, a train appeared. Yaayy, the 16:38 was late. But then, that meant I'd miss the 16:49 from Mönchengladbach.* Luckily at that time of day there is a train approximately every 10 minutes - so I caught the 17:11 from Mönchengladbach, got into Erkelenz just after 17:30 and was home before 18:00.
It's probably surplus to requirements to mention that my early train catching deal worked out very well again this morning. And there was a large coffee on the way to the station.
*having consulted the interweb this evening I discover that the 16:38 gets to Mönchengladbach at 16:50 and the train I caught was the one I was supposed to catch anyway.