Thursday, 25 March 2010

What divorce looks like

I like to watch people, and I often pass the time on my journey by
imagining what people's stories are.

The man across the aisle is what I imagine divorce looks like. He's
wearing a heavy gold and silver wedding band on his right hand and
dressed in a suit. At first I wondered what that might signify, and
then I noticed the rest of the ensemble.

He's drinking generic bitter from a canst 4:45pm and has a hole in his
sock. His dress shirt is patterned with pale neon green and orange
squares, which on it's own might be trendy. However, he has paired it
with a tie with fat diagonal stripes in red and blue.

The poor man's entire demeanour cries out that this is a man who used
to be looked after by a woman. Now has nobody to help him dress
himself. I wonder if he has been sneakily kipping in his office.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

In a little box

As we were hurtling along the countryside in the windowed box that is
my third home, two ladies were chatting about a funeral they attended
last week. They mustn't have been very close to the deceased, because
the discussion seemed to revolve around who was there and what they
were doing these days, rather than the dead person.
The conversation moved on to the funereal wishes of their nearest and
dearest. It turns out that everyone wants to be buried. "Not me. I
want to be cremated," said one.
"I don't want to be in a little box. I'm claustrophobic".

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


After spending Friday night watching toddlers die of malaria on Sport
Relief, it's rather grating to listen to some university students
loudly planning their spring holidays. They are going on a music
festival tour of Europe and talking about all of their previous trips
to "Pesht" (Budapest). For an hour so far.
There's only so much hedonism paid for by Bank of Mum and Dad that I
can listen to. I fear they are on the train for the entire journey. It
may get ugly...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Can't wait to be old

I cannot wait to be old. It's a license to act however one pleases.

For some inexplicable reason, the train was not crowded this morning.
For the entire first hour of the journey, I only had to share my table
for four with one other person. He vacated and was replaced by a liver-
spotted gentleman elegantly turned out in a Barbour coat, tweed
flatcap, cashmere scarf, and subtly manicured nails.

He slid over to the unoccupied half of the table and muttered a Prince
Philipesque string of syllables from which I could just make out,
"bloody computers", "bloody trains", and "what next". From behind his
German dictionary and text, he kept peering over and giving my laptop
the stinkeye. The appearance of my iPhone from my pocket nearly
induced a coronary. He would definitely be a patron of my dining car.

I can't wait until I'm old enough to be offended by the mere existence
of technology.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Dining Car

So, I would like a dining car on the train. No, not a souped up version of the trolley with warm cans of cider and overpriced crisps. An actual dining car.

Linen napkins, waiters, a little jazz band. Poached eggs on toast in the morning and wine and cheese at night. It would probably cost about the same as my M&S habit and would bring a bit of class back to train travel. No electronic devices or BO allowed.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Quiet, please

I'd like to petition for a mandatory quiet coach on all lines with
journeys longer than 15 minutes. Just think- no ipodiots, no mobile
conversations, and no loud snack munchers. Anyone else want to sign?
Today's post has been brought to you courtesy of the high school
teacher with her binders of marking, suitcase, coat, lunchbag,
handbag, and snacks spread over a 4-person table. She has had to be
asked by 3 people to move various items to allow them to sit down and
read or work, when the train is filled to capacity. All the while, she
has been chatting loudly into her phone and doodling flowers on a
notepad. And the obligatory guy listening to trance music, natch.