Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Breaking Silence

It occurs to me as I hurtle  through the tunnel that it only seems shorter than it did when I was five because the train is going faster. The noises are different too - the rattles and clangs, huffs and whistles of the steam train are gone. I regret this, as the quieter ride forces me to be an unwitting conspirator with the mover and shaker making a deal over his smart phone whilst walking up and down the carriage, 

"I know what Paul would say, "Who's going to pay for it?" "

I feel like using the microphone function on this device to voice, "Listen to Paul!  I don't, of course. 

I have swapped the Priviledge Pass I bore as the dependent of a railwayman, for this journey undertaken so many times,  for a Senior Railcard. Yes, but, as I often say, "I am only old on the outside!" 

There is a cultured elderly couple sitting in front of me. Their accents and educated register give them away. A newspaper rustles and there's some comment about a number of Prime Ministers, some of whom the woman lists from memory. 

"It's on the BBC " the gentleman says, and then, intriguingly goes on to  bemoan the decline in moral standards today, to which the lady responds appreciatively with, "Nobody believes in hell and damnation any more!" 

I am longing to ask what hell has to do with some of our most distinguished Prime Ministers, and even to add a commentary myself, but I am afraid the story might be too mundane, and the intrigue dispelled. 


"No attempt to make it people friendly!" My travelling companion observes. I am now laying a bet with myself. Will she make one kind comment before Paddington? She has twenty-five minutes. I give myself long odds. 

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