The day we lost our luggage


‘D….where’s your rucksack??’

D and I were at Watford Junction. Our connecting train to Garston was just about to arrive, to take us to the start of our romantic country walk (taken from this Time Out book, which we’ve used many times). The ramble would end at St Albans, where D and I had planned to celebrate my 40th birthday together. Special, child-free time, the likes of which we rarely see.

A gasp of horror from D. And, a knot of incredulity in my stomach: my carefully picked outfit for the evening, along with my toiletries, spare underwear and ALL my makeup, was speeding its way to Birmingham New Street, on an overhead rack above the train seats we’d been sitting on, just minutes before.

Not the most auspicious start to our day. We’d already encountered a big hiccup in the plans for my 40th: the original arrangement had been to travel to Amsterdam for a couple of nights. But then Austin became unwell with his viral-induced wheeze, and it didn’t seem right to leave the country. If Granny and Grandad called at 2am to say his condition had deteriorated, it would be a darn sight easier to jump into a cab from St Albans, than it would be to swim home from the Netherlands.

Or, that is, to jump into a cab in walking boots, wearing clothes that were gamey from a day’s walking (if D’s forgetfulness had anything to do with it).

I was cross. I was upset. But D was suitably contrite, and made a score of telephone calls to make sure the bag ended up safely in Birmingham. So I stemmed the rivulets of disappointment. After all, why spoil our rare couple-time for the sake of some mascara and a frock?. Once I’d banished the sulks, what remained was pure enjoyment of a pleasant ramble through Herfordshire countryside.

Munden House

Munden House, Bricket Wood

Although the walk was pretty, it wasn’t the most beautiful we’ve taken from our Time Out book; the M1 and M25 rear their ugly heads along the way. But there was a good balance of woodland, open fields, historic buildings, and fine countryside creatures – butterflies, and cows a-plenty.

St Albans

The end of the walk ran along the banks of the River Ver.

River Ver

St Albans itself was delightful. Our walk took us into the city near Verulamium Park, the site of the Roman city of the same name (and whose ruins you can still see).

Verulamium Park

Verulamium Park

Verulamium Park

The lake in Verulamium Park

Our hotel – booked at the last minute because of our change of plans – was the Clarion Collection, which came in at just over £100 for a standard double room and was perfectly adequate for a passing visit. It was situated right in the centre of the city, which cut out the need to waste precious time travelling to and from our hotel.

Even better was the fact that we were staying practically opposite Singhli, an Indian Street Kitchen with astonishingly good food. We were wowed by the dry, complex heat of the chilli paneer, and were equally impressed by all the other street food platters we ordered: delicate vegetable pakoras, crispy amritsari fish, light, puffed prantha and deeply flavoursome aubergine sabji.


The day ended better than it began….

The dress I’m wearing in this picture was one bought from a fine charity shop in the city centre (the place has several). Dave spotted a cardigan that matched it perfectly when we were on a pants-buying foray into Marks & Spencer, and bought that for me too. So – bingo – as well as having a pleasant walk and delicious food, I also ended up with a bonus new outfit.

It was almost as though he’d planned it.

Have you ever forgotten your luggage?

I’m linking this post up with Time Traveller at Mari’s World.


  • angela hamilton
    April 27, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    oh nooooo did you get your luggage back? I hope you enjoyed yourself in the end. I haven’t forgotten my luggage, yet! x

    • Nell
      April 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      The rucksack is still waiting in left luggage! D’s going up to Birmingham with work in a couple of weeks, so we’re hoping to retrieve it then….

  • Globalmouse
    April 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Aaagh what a nightmare…although good excuse to pick up some new clothes 😉 I hope you got your bag back and that food you had sounds delicious!!

    • Nell
      April 27, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      It was – I thoroughly recommend the place.

  • Abi - Angel Eden Blog
    April 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    I once left my handbag in a changing room, I was carrying shopping bags and didn’t click until I was nearly home. Huge race back and thankfully it was still there, it’s a stomach churning feeling though

    • Nell
      April 27, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      Phew! Glad you got it back.

  • Christine
    April 27, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    It’s jackets that get left behind in our family. I’m pretty sure there’s still a train travelling around Italy with (new!) jacket on it! Sounds like you still had a good time despite the lost bag.

    • Nell
      April 27, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Jackets are so easy to leave behind, aren’t they. We’re constantly finding them in our own guest wardrobes – our visitors always seem to leave them!

  • Hannah Staveley
    April 27, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    This would be one of my worst nightmares for sure.

  • Mums do travel
    April 27, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Phew, I’m glad that you still had a lovely time. happy birthday by the way! I did lose my bag once on a trip to Austria. I left it in the cab which dropped us at our hotel. It was very stressful as it had our passports in it but we did get it back after a few hours.

    • Nell
      April 27, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Thank you – and I’m glad you got your own bag back. At least ours didn’t have any passports, wallets or phones….that WOULD have put a downer on the trip.

  • Michelle
    April 27, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    What a nightmare! I haven’t forgotten any luggage – yet! xx

  • Sonya Cisco
    April 28, 2015 at 9:40 am

    LOVE the approach you took – some would have been so livid they let it spoil their fun – and lord knows there is little enough adult time when you have kids – who wants to ruin it with sulking about bags! Love the charity shop find – a great solution!

  • Erica Price
    April 28, 2015 at 10:46 am

    OMG nightmare! Glad you got a new outfit out of it though.

  • Jen aka Muminthemadhouse
    April 28, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I am so glad that you made the best of what could have been a really bad thing. That food sounds delicious. Did you get your bag back?

  • chickenruby
    April 28, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    glad it all worked out for you in the end, did you get your bag back? I’ve never lost luggage but we have had several cases delayed when flying but thankfully the airlines do deliver as soon as they get them, so we always travel with under ware and spare top in our hand luggage

  • Sarah Bailey
    April 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I threw away our Euro star tickets and our train tickets in our hotel in Paris! Thankfully the Euro Star reprinted them but we weren’t so lucky when back in the UK and had to rebuy.

  • Actually Mummy...
    April 28, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Ah St Albans charity shops are the best! Sorry it was a stressful start, and well done for pulling it together, I would have lost the plot!

  • Jenny @ The Brick Castle
    April 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

    I hope you got it all back safely! St Alban’s is gorgeous, we spent a day there and visited Verulamium a few months ago. The fresco’s and mosaics in the museum were gorgeous. I’m glad you managed to salvage your evening – and happy birthday! Welcome to the over 40’s club 🙂

  • Kara
    April 30, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Glad it all worked out in the end and love your new outfit…….did you get your bag back?

    • Nell
      April 30, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you – the bag’s still waiting in Birmingham, ready for when D goes there for work in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope all my possessions are still safe inside!

  • Penny A Residence
    April 30, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Oh to have a day to walk together, cover all that ground – that must feel like such an achievement. Happy Birthday to you and I am so glad you got a new outfit, I want that curry too!

  • Sarah Ebner
    April 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Glad to hear it sounds like you will be reunited with the luggage soon – was going to ask that myself! But glad you had a good time despite the inauspicious start. Food sounds especially yum!

  • So pleased to see you had a lovely time anyhow. This pics are beautiful – looks like a fab place and the food sounds it too! #TimeTraveller

  • Mari
    May 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I raced through your post to see what happened to the luggage and was delighted to see a new dress, cardi and pants too! Bingo.
    However I did go back for a ‘proper’ read and what a delightful weekend trip. Love the sound of that curry too.
    Thanks for joining in #TimeTraveller

  • Helen Neale
    May 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Well done for getting it all together – love St Albans, and actually used to work in one of their charity shops too would you believe it. Well done for sorting it all out.

  • VaiChin @RamblingThroughParenthood
    May 8, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Happy birthday! I think it’s a fab way to celebrate the big 4-0. Glad it all turned out okay in the end.

  • Fritha Strickland
    May 10, 2015 at 7:01 am

    aww bless you, it so good you were able to put a bright spin on things and it all worked out OK. It’s always my fear I’ll leave my bag on the train! x


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