Sitting on the train once again, heading north. Watching TV shows downloaded from Amazon Prime, and reading bits and pieces of books on the Kindle.
I managed to grab something to eat at Euston station, and sat in the communal area above the concourse while waiting for the train to be announced. Through either luck or genius judgement I made my way back down at the exact moment my train began boarding, so continued through the sea of people, and joined the well mannered race along the platform.
After sitting for a few moments organising myself – retrieving the Kindle, a drink, and some chocolate from my bag – bought in a “meal deal” from the stationers on the concourse – a middle aged couple appeared alongside me – straining to inspect the seat reservation signs (why they couldn’t put their glasses on if they needed them is anybody’s guess). They finally found some seats a little further along the carriage and slumped down out of view.
A minute or two later a smartly dressed businesswoman appeared alongside me. After looking up and down the carriage it became obvious she had chosen the seat next to me, and made a great fuss over lifting her bag into the overhead locker, and placing her handbag between her feet (a leather designer handbag that screamed “lots of money”). She had an expensive looking paper bag propped on her lap – I have no idea what it had in it. Shortly before the train got under way she marched off down the carriage, pausing, huffing, and tutting as she went – at first I wondered if she was looking for a bathroom, but then it dawned on me that she was looking for table seating – and not finding any.
She marched back up the carriage towards me, and I finally stole a glance at her face. She would have been very pretty, if not for the half-ton of caked on make-up, and the perma-frown.
Moments later the train left Euston, and she took her chance – realising the seats directly in front of us were empty, she upped sticks and landed herself directly in front of me – I can see the back of her head right now – in quite some detail. She’s munching away on a bag of crisps as I type this.
A girl across from me on the train is reading a book called “Change of Heart” by Jodi Picoult. If only the people nearby had any clue that I had been reading “The Cement Garden” by Ian McEwan this morning. I first discovered it as a movie years ago starring Charlotte Gainsborough – a truly screwed up “Lord of the Flies” type movie about a group of siblings who’s parents die, and who descend into incest in their absence. The book was OK – probably better than the movie, but not as you might imagine if you read literary journlist reviews. I tend to find that a lot – and wonder if the reviewers ever really read the books – properly read them, and take them in.
Last night I read “Reader for Hire” – the book one of my favourite movies is based on. The movie is called “La Lectrice”, French, with subtitles. It stars Miou Miou as a young girl hired to read to people as a therapy of sorts – and tells the story of the various clients she visits. It doesn’t sound like a recipe for a particularly enthralling movie, but it strangely succeeds. You end up being sucked into their lives, their hangups, and their idiosyncracies.
I have another hour and a half to survive on the train. I’m wondering how many episodes of “Casual” I can watch back-to-back on the Fire tablet.
Ten minutes pass…
Ok – where did the torrential rain come from? Seriously? Just glanced out of the train window, and half the sky appears to have experienced a major malfunction, and is doing it’s best to buy several nearby farms. Visibility is down to a few hundred yards at best. I guess it will help the grass grow though.
I bought what I thought was a still juice drink from the station. It’s fizzy. I wonder if you can press the emergency stop button on a train because you really hate fizzy juice drinks ? Would that be enough to stop a train? Maybe not.
While brain dumping spectacutarly, it might be worth mentioning the old school friend that sent me a message through Facebook, with a photo attached of a teacher – asking if I knew her name. I was about to respond expressing total and utter ignorance when some dark corner of my brain opened a door – ” that was Miss Wilson – although she never had her hair cut like that when she taught us – she lived above the Chemist in the parade of shops in the middle of town, and left when we were in the 3rd year at that school… Don’t ask me how I knew ANY of it – I just did. Of course I didn’t also tell him about the time she caught me checking her out during a French lesson. She didn’t say anything, and I must have burned up like a traffic light. Now I’m wondering what other swathes of memory are waiting to be re-discovered.