All aboard to Barry Island.

There are a few reasons why you should not flirt with men when your 4-year-old is with you.
There are the obvious reasons and then there are the reasons where, specifically, you shouldn’t flirt with men, with my 4-year-old in tow.
We’ve been to Barry Island today. Usually the mere thought of getting to Barry on the valley rocket is enough to send me straight to the gin aisle of Tescos pre-boarding. (Noted, one cannot consume alcohol between Merthyr and Pontypridd, which basically translates into hide your booze well, get the trip done, put the booze on the table, off you get!) But today, I felt fine about it. I felt excited to get some sea air and feel like I was on a little bit of a jolly.
You see, that’s what us valley folk do when we have a smidgen of sunshine and a free day to spare. Not a literal free day because a few hours in Barry, not only takes you the same amount of time as getting to mainland Spain, it also pretty much costs the same.
Anyway, off we pop. My friend Julie, (not my wife, despite the rumours or the fact we usually look like a very modern family of 4!) her little girl HR, B and myself.
B and HR have a beautiful relationship where they are either the most angelic, perfect, playing duo or they are scrapping.
If they are the latter, I knew the journey to Barry bloody Island would be a painful one. Luckily, between us, there was enough entertainment, inappropriate snacks and litres of soft drinks, which meant the journey was pleasant.
To be fair it was made even more pleasant by the most beautiful train conductor to ever grace the Merthyr to Bridgend service.
And I’m no connoisseur on these matters mind, I don’t often grace the 11.38 with my presence but to be fair, this one was a beaut.
And when he asked ‘tickets please’ in my general direction, I felt like the opportunity was far too good to be missed and I activated what I like to call, inappropriate Hannah.
Inappropriate Hannah has no real idea how to flirt, which is probably a good thing given I’m married and someone’s mother, but nevertheless, every now and then out she comes.
‘Do you like your job?’ I asked his arse. Now, this wasn’t as epic as the time I told someone beautiful that I really liked grass, given it wasn’t that random a question.
‘Uh, yes, why? Am I not smiling enough?’ he asked and I had no idea how to backtrack.
‘Well done, Han.’ I heard Julie mutter and I felt her colour rising without even looking at her face.
‘No, no, no.’ I stumbled. ‘These jobs came up on my Facebook the other day and I was wondering like?’
‘Ah.’ Beautiful conductor smiled and I’m not sure whether the train went over a bump or my earth moved.
And then he lost me at; ‘I used to be in the fire service.’
Oh fecking hell! If there’s anything a woman in her thirties likes to imagine it’s a beautiful fireman.
‘Where are you going?’ he asked, and then he asked again and whist I gaped open mouthed, Julie had to tell him.
‘Barry Island! Hannah! Barry Island, it’s not hard.’ And then I did it, out it came before my brain even had a nanosecond to say ‘Stop you stupid twat, think about what you’re about to say!’
‘I can’t stop thinking about him on a pole.’
What the flying fuck, like?
Beautiful conductor looked more mortified than me, Julie and the woman who had her hands over her eyes, opposite us, put together.
In fact, he was so mortified he cocked our tickets up and quickly disembarked our train in Cardiff Central before I had chance to say sorry I’m a knob!
Fuck my life.
Anyway, Barry Island was everything we’d hoped for, I had the best chips, cheese and gravy of my chip shop career and we made sand castles on the beach whilst watching Seagulls eat wrapped, whole Kit Kats being fed to them by some perverse child. We marvelled at how beautiful train conductor had been and I hoped he hadn’t noticed that my legs were probably 3 days over due a shave. We had a wee in the public toilets that you can under no circumstances wash your child or your feet in, then finished off with an ice cream and a look round the fun fair.
Then it was Valley Rocket round 2.
And beautiful conductor was no where to be seen but new conductor who was neither pleasant or not asked to see our tickets.
‘Tickets please?’
And my 4 year old, who’s tired, a little cranky, full up on Mr Whippy and the teacups says, in her loudest Gurnos voice;
‘Do you like your job, then?’
How am I going to explain this one?


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