Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Being stranger on a train

We both miss living in London, but made the decision to move to Cambridge and, so far, don't regret it. Sometimes Anne thinks she'd like to live there again, but I don't. We're near enough to get in and see friends, but don't have to put up with the disadvantages. Working there once or twice a month reminds me how bad the commuting aspect can be.

I went to London last Tuesday for a day in my firm's head office. I had to be up early and trudge down on the train from Cambridge. I got on the train and sat next to a bloke who was about my age. Embarrassingly, we each got our iPods out at the same time. On-lookers would have thought we were twins, I expect. However, I then trumped him with my Train Picnic Breakfast!

First I got my bagel out. Before now I've paid top-whack for breakfast at the station, but no more. Oh no mister - I'm paying two mortgages at the moment and therefore not wasting cash on over-priced pastries. I'd buttered the bagel the night before, and was feeling the other passengers' jealous eyes on me as I tucked in. Then I got my Thermos Flask out, full of piping hot coffee. The previous night I'd set up a timer plug to turn our new coffee machine (wedding present!) on at 6am and that morning I filled the Thermos Flask (another wedding present!) up before I left the house. I was on fire - things were coming together like never before and there I was with a bagel AND a piping hot coffee and I hadn't had to part with the usual £3. Get me!

Of course, the bubble bursts - it always does. Soon the bagel was no more than a memory and a few crumbs on my lap. So...I got out the second pre-buttered bagel! I could hear the other passengers audibly taking sharp intakes of breath (or at least I imagined I could - I was listening to my iPod and therefore couldn't quite hear them).

What a picnic! All I needed was a blanket and some ants and I'd be sorted. Given that I was sitting on a train with a Thermos Flask, I could probably have also added to the image if I had a cardigan and pipe.

The joy was only diminished by the "lady" sitting nearby who insisted on shouting her plans for the day into her mobile for most of the journey. Stupid cow. (I could hear HER over the sound from my iPod no problem.) She was probably just jealous she didn't have a buttered bagel and a hot coffee.

I'm sorry, but I don't have any photos of this for the blog. I hope I've managed to paint you a picture so you can close your eyes and imagine the scene.

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