I was very excited last night to find a letter had come from First Great Western. I was slightly less excited to find that the rail voucher enclosed was for the grand sum of £4.00.
Yes, you read that right. 400 of our British pence. This is Andrew Haines' compensation for the less-than-excellent service throughout December. Although, to be fair, that will buy 5.12 copies of my favourite Take a Break magazine, which provides much needed opportunities to laugh at other people's misfortunes during train delays.
For example, this week's edition, bought as compensation when I missed a connection last night, had finished my book, and found myself with nothing to read, contains the following headlines - Child with a Junkie Father - "wake up daddy, I'm scared"
They Were Burnt Alive - "Yobs murdered my pets"
Amazing! - I became pregnant - and shrank!
Britain's Got Love Rats - "You can run, John...but you can't hide!"
Quality entertainment I'm sure you'll agree. However, I can't help but be slightly concerned that the cost of sending out all these £4.00 vouchers may be more than the value of the vouchers themselves.
Still, I am now armed with four rail vouchers, as a result of all my careful complaining last year. Sadly, they add up to a mere £34.00 at the last count. Which probably won't even cover the recent fare rise. Still, it's something. As various celebrities continue to say annoyingly in Tesco adverts, "every little helps".