Too many train journeys right now. Two to Winchester for Uni last week, another two to Winchester this week, two to football last week, and one last night to watch the Oakland Raiders at Wembley. All fun stuff (the Raiders’ many deficiencies notwithstanding), and it’s a good place for a read (Michael Ondaatje, Virginia Woolf, Abdulrazak Gurnah and Adam Nevill have accompanied me on recent journeys), but overkill kicks in when you seem to be spending your whole life on ’em.
The automated train voice lady, bless her little digital heart, tries to make it less prosaic by emphasing the second syllables of Millbrook and Redbridge, making the vast sprawl of council housing and tower blocks sound quaint and rustic, but still it disnae have the wonderful symmetry of long vowel sounds of the 7.42 to Waterloo.
So as I emerge, bleary-eyed and blinking, newsprint smears on my face via the Metro and my fingers, to stagger groggily down Rumbridge Street, remember this: if I look like I’ve just got back from somewhere, then I probably have.