Let's face it, we're screwed

I want to be good, but it's so ruddy difficult.

I want to take the train from Aberdeen to Leicester on Monday March 29th, but for two people I am currently being quoted almost £250 by all the train company websites. This is despite me trying to be forward-thinking and getting cheap tickets by booking many weeks in advance. It isn't making the blindest bit of difference.

Having travelled the trains between Northeast Scotland and the Midlands countless times in the last few years, I know about splitting up my journey to save money, so I tried that technique. Unfortunately, no matter how I did it (Aberdeen-Kirkcaldy, Kirkcaldy-Newcastle, Newcastle-Peterborough, Peterborough-Leicester perhaps?) I couldn't bring the price down. Indeed, I almost always ended up cranking the price up - £90 each for a single from Newcastle to Peterborough on a Monday afternoon? You must be kidding!

After two hours of chopping and changing and tweaking and cancelling and rearranging, I was still looking at shelling out £250 to travel on a train journey that would take at least 8 hours. How utterly unappealing.

So I had a look at flights. Aberdeen to Birmingham airport, lunchtime departure, an hour in the air, two people, taxes, baggage and card charge included, £70.

It's a no-brainer. Pay seventy quid to sit with business people and pump a shedload of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in a quick hop between cities, or two hundred and fifty quid to sit with normal people and save the environment as we trundle sluggishly through every village in eastern Scotland?

I don't want to fly, I want to get the train, but I simply can't justify paying through the nose for the privilege. I'm not wealthy enough. If it was a publicly owned train company I might just about contemplate it, but a few monolithic conglomerates own everything, rail or air, so I shall give them as little of my cash as I possibly can.

As for polluting the air and altering the climate, well, yes, looks like I'm just going to have to carry on doing it. And if a greenish liberal worrier like me takes that approach, the cocksure conservative is hardly likely to be making a stand.

Barring the intervention of an extraordinarily innovative government (and who do we have about to take over the reigns of UK power? Oh yes, yet another semi-royal fat-cat Old Etonian!), this situation isn't going to change. And even if it did, we're probably still utterly buggered.

Happy New Year!
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