Brief Encounters

I love a long train journey, me. On the rare occasions that everything’s running to time, it’s the best form of (legal) relaxation there is.

I love watching the world zip by the window, deciding which places might be worth closer inspection one day and seeing the sights. On the way to my Mum’s, I look out for the water tower on the hill; going through Basingstoke, I note how much further in to disrepair the old Illy head office has fallen; on the last, slow wind in to London, I smile fondly as the landmarks slide by one after the after. Between the sights, I watch people go about their business and despise reality TV that little bit more.

I like listening to the slices of life going on around me. People of all ages and at different stages of their lives, banality at its best. More often than not, all of the world’s most stupid and annoying people seem to be having their AGM in my carriage but that’s okay. It gives me the chance to feel superior and give my MP3 player a proper workout.

I’m always surprised by the array of gadgetry people have on them as they go from A to B these days. Other than a bit of musical accompaniment, I just like to think my thoughts and watch the world go by. I’ve overheard some brilliant conversations on train journeys. I’ve fallen in love over and over again in the time it takes to get from Southampton to Brighton, and I’ve spotted several dream homes. Maybe I should have been born in the steam era when trains were beautiful and travelling on them was still an occasion. When you could make-believe that you were in a film noir or that the world is full of gay subtext. It doesn’t matter where or when I’m travelling though really, it will always be my escape.

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