Not what I see of a morning:
Coming up for six months of the daily shuffle this week and I am surprised to find that the journey is not wearing me down; there are two explanations that might account for this.
The first is the daily uncertainty of wondering if I will make my preferred connection in Guildford; it stops at Clapham Junction where I hop onto another train and exit at Vauxhall – 10 min walk to work and arrive at desk at 07:45.
There is only one stop between it’s starting point and my hometown station but on average it is late two times out of five each week and the window of opportunity at Guildford is only 3 minutes wide, leaving very little room for operator error. Last Thursday was a classic, it arrived on time but the guard/ticket collector made the fatal flaw of walking the train before the 8 minute last leg resulting in 2 stops where we were stationary for over a minute before heading off as he had to walk the length of the train to close the doors.
End result is my connection is still there when I leap off in Guildford but the doors have just been locked so it is a 10 min wait for the next one which will se me arrive at work around 20 mins later than normal.
The second is the constantly evolving cast of characters that I see on my travels each day, on my preferred connection that list includes sleeping dude (25 mins into the journey but always sound asleep), bohemian chick (dresses out of the box c/f her fellow female commuters but always with an eccentric elegant charm), Telegraph dude (always wired into his mp3 while reading the Telegraph), FT dude (every morning he will extract 2 “pills” from a foil wrapped strip and munch away – indigestion tablets or some fancy mints, perhaps one day when my eyes get fixed I will find out).
The pair that I least like to see of a morning get on 2 stops after me on the first train, fortunately they are not regulars as they spend the entire journey talking about their kids football teams. Not so much about the play itself on the park but more around the labyrinthine backbiting on the coaches and other parents. The first time I encountered them I made the mistake of getting into the same coach as them on the second train and their dialogue continued all the way into London – not a mistake that I have repeated.
The good news (as winter looms on the horizon) is that I now have the kit that allows me to work from home; so bring it on Mr Snow I am ready and waiting for you!