After a long time, things started going right for a change.
7:15pm: Get out of office.
7:22pm: Walk into train platform exactly as the train arrives. The right train.
7:40pm: Long walk to change trains at London Bridge. Once again, the train arrives bang on cue.
7:47pm: Another change of platform at Bank. Train to Newbury Park arrives almost immediately.
8:15pm: Out of Newbury Park station.
That was easily the shortest ride I had from Croydon to Newbury Park. Probably will continue to be the shortest ever.