Monday 30 June 2008

Back on the Street at last

Weightless, though not in the astronaut sense; 7.0 units of alcohol yesterday (a little light lunch in a St James’s brasserie after I had dropped the LTCB at Euston); 1,315; Weatherfield.

I made my way north on the 10.00 “Flying Scotsman” from King’s Cross, tucked into what I hoped was going to be a quiet single seat at the end of a carriage. From Peterborough, which we must have reached at about 10.45, I found myself sitting across the gangway from a plump blonde woman, her screaming infant and said infant’s deranged-looking grandmother, who was probably only a little older than I am. By carefully placing their state-of-the-art baby buggy in a place where it kept the door from the carriage into the vestibule open, they managed to create a racket in stereo: squalling baby on one channel, and rushing train, slamming lavatory door and chattering staff on the other. Then they proceeded to tuck into the most enormous buffet lunch I have ever seen, so vast that it could hardly be accommodated on the table between them, accompanied by what looked suspiciously like a magnum of pink champagne. By Darlington the grandmother, who was facing me, was giggling uncontrollably, and I very much doubt whether her daughter would have been considered fit to be in charge of a baby by any self-respecting social services department. Indeed, if they had been working class I expect someone would have been alerted to intercept the train and drag them off it in handcuffs. Being middle class and travelling first clearly still carries some privileges, even in the second year of Gordon Brown’s Age of Change.

Or maybe the police and social services swooped when they arrived in Edinburgh, where the self-indulgent business of enjoying yourself in this or indeed any other way has always been deeply frowned upon.

I returned home after an excellent lunch at my aunt’s and a walk with her and the dog. This evening I felt “chillaxed” (© LTCB 2008) enough to watch Coronation Street for the first time in weeks, and remained tuned in to an edition of Police, Camera, Action. Mainly because I could not resist its laughable attempts to maintain an air of cliff-hanger suspense about the question “which is Britain’s most dangerous road?” when the answer had been printed in every newspaper this morning as a result of the press release about the programme which ITV had presumably issued. Now that’s what I call good PR in action.

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