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Monday, February 18, 2008

Experienced Virgin

Try to keep your jealousy at bay for the time being, whilst I admit I'm doing some more glamorous work travel. At the moment, I'm in Birmingham. I know, I know. Some people have all the luck.

I travelled up this afternoon on a ridiculously full Virgin train. I overheard a lady talk about how the previous train had been cancelled, which might have accounted for how every single seat was taken. The seats themselves had clearly been designed by someone paid to squeeze every inch of space out; there was barely one luggage rack per carriage and no storage space between the seats - which themselves were very small.

My colleague and I boarded the train late-ish, after having to wait for a hippy mother in the sandwich shop in front of us dithering over which sort of organic chocolate little Clementine should be allowed. By the time we boarded there were no seats left together, so I squeezed in next to a tall guy in the aisle seat. He was large, but not fat... but the seats were so cramped together, I could already see this wouldn't be a pleasant journey.

He slept. This was good. No conversation. (Though he was reading documentation in French, so it could have been a chance for me to practise. He wasn't reading whilst he was asleep. Stop being so pedantic.)

As he slept, his arm traversed onto the armrest. This was OK. This is neutral territory. And I am quite petite, so even though the seats were small, I didn't need to sprawl.

Then the arm crossed the armrest. Ploggers, let me tell you, at the full extent of his invasion, his elbow was a good four inches across into my ten-inch wide seat.

I can tell you now from bitter experience that heading to Birmingham with a man's pointy bit encroaching into your seat and jabbing into you is no way to put you in a good mood. Well, I suppose it depends who the man is. And which specific pointy bit we're talking about. But the Birmingham bit is rarely good.

He got off at Coventry. Nothing good happens at Coventry either.

1 comment:

Sara said...

Wasn't that Lady Godiva riding through town naked, on horse back, in Coventry? I'm sure they rave about that in their local tour!
I had a line in my play last year that reference it actually :)