It's amazing what you hear in a train toilet these days...

FINALLY, our long awaited weekend trip to London had arrived and my pal Susan and I were excited, especially as the weather forecast said it would be 22 degrees.

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After seeing a brilliant West End theatre show and spending an evening in Covent Garden we were up early to visit St Paul's Cathedral.

It was truly amazing and pretty much brought our packed weekend to an end.

It was now Sunday morning and we had plenty of time before our Virgin train home to Glasgow.

After a relaxing breakfast, we walked in the sunshine to Euston Station.

"We've got 10 minutes before departure," Susan reminded me.

So we sauntered along platform 12 at a leisurely pace. Soon we were at carriage K, then carriage J and carriage I.

I was now aware that Susan's pace had quickened somewhat and I tried to keep up.

We were now at carriage F and I looked at my watch and shouted: "Susan, we've only got two minutes to departure!"

Half walking and half running we reached carriage D.

"Bloody hell. What's our carriage again?" I asked Susan for the fifth time.

"It's B. There are eleven carriages. This train must be about half a mile long!" Susan gasped.

Sweating and flustered we finally reached carriage B when beeping sounded loudly to inform us that the train doors were about to close.

Susan somehow managed to jump on with her small case but I wasn't so lucky.

The beeping got louder and more rapid and with one enormous leap with my heavy handbag over my shoulder I jumped on to the train. However, my posh holdall didn't quite make it and got squashed in the door.

"Help!" I shouted to Susan who somehow found my predicament highly amusing.

Finally, with an enormous effort she managed to yank my squashed luggage into the carriage just as we left the platform.

Relieved and shaking I turned to Susan and said: "Oh my God. That was close."

An hour into our journey and I turned to Susan: "I can't put it off any longer. I've got to go to the toilet."

Susan knew I dreaded using public toilets as I had just finished telling her about an incident my friend experienced recently on the Glasgow to Edinburgh train.

She had decided she couldn't wait until she arrived in Edinburgh and reluctantly had to use the toilet.

Suddenly to her horror, while sitting with her trousers around her ankles on the toilet, the electronic door swished open to reveal her predicament to two young speechless, staring guys.

Although they'd done nothing wrong they embarrassingly apologised before disappearing.

So back to me.

"These electronic doors have no handles," I explained to Susan.

"So really, you are taking a risk every time you sit down."

"You'll be fine," she assured me before mischievously adding, "Anyway the train is quiet today."

After being rocked from side to side I finally made it to the unisex toilet. I pushed the button and the door swished open and in I went.

A voice instructed me to please press the flashing button to close the door.

"Please lock the door," it intoned before confirming.

"Door is locked."

"Well this actually is idiot proof," I thought to myself.

With the door firmly locked, nervously I undid my belt when the familiar female voice came alive again and a pre-recorded message declared: "Please do not flush any of the following items down the toilet. Nappies, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, goldfish …"

It went on for some time and I couldn't quite make out the rest.

I returned to my seat in disbelief and said: "Susan. I think I'm hearing things. The message in the toilet asked me not to flush away a goldfish! Why would you have a goldfish on a train"?

"Janice, I think you should stick to tea," replied an unconvinced Susan shaking her head.

Half an hour later Susan returned from the toilet in fits of laughter.

"You're right Janice. You couldn't make it up. The voice says please do not flush away nappies, paper towels, unpaid bills, soaps and creams or goldfish down the toilet."

"See I told you. I thought I was going mad," I said. "I knew the message definitely mentioned goldfish."

However, after a few more trips to the toilet curiosity got the better of us and Susan decided to Google Virgin trains and we were soon listening to the following message on YouTube: "Please don't flush away, nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old mobile phones, unpaid bills, junk mail, your ex's sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down the toilet."

In one journey I had gone from dreading using a public toilet to repeat visits just to hear the message. Brilliant.

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