Monday, March 31, 2008

16.56 Two Minutes Late
Another table; another forward facing journey.

This time I have to share my space, but again I'm lucky - another fragile looking youth who hardly occupies all of his own seat and comes nowhere near encroaching on mine. His A3 sketch pad might be an issue ... but no, he passes the journey diligently perfecting portraits of fellow travellers using a few lines in black pen.

It's entertaining, but I must remember to avoid sitting opposite him on future journeys.

World Turned Upside Down - Billy Bragg
To The End - Blur
It Covers The Hillside - Midlake
Pony Street - Elvis Costello
Someday - Ash


8.19 Ten Minutes Late
I set off way too early but it’s OK; it’s such a beautiful morning that even when the train I’m waiting for disappears from the screen it doesn’t worry me too much. There’ll be another one along in ten minutes. As it happens, the one that turns up ten minutes later is the one I was waiting for anyway.

Nobody complains.

I manage to get a seat with a table – going forwards – a boy who will spend the entire journey sending the War and Peace of text messages sits opposite. He doesn’t take up too much space or make any noise.

So far so good.

Oxford Comma - Vampire Weekend

Lonely Boy – Andrew Gold
I Started A Blog Nobody Read – Sprites
The National Anthem – Radiohead
Battered Old Bird – Elvis Costello


"En route, she upbraided herself for imputing internal turmoil to strangers, for her fellow pedestrians seemed universally to look stricken. She allowed herself a touch of irritation at having to weave past so many laggards, trolling the sidewalks in a narcotic daze.
Alarming headlines were inconclusive, photos consuming most of the front pages."

If I could've included sentence five as well it might've all clicked into place...

Oh, go on then.

Sentence five is: "On the morning of August 31, Irina trotted once more numbly to the newsagent for a Sunday Telegraph." Now - see what she did there?

I enjoyed "We Need To Talk About Kevin". It was a slog, but a worthwhile slog. This one is really heavy going. I will persist. Maybe there will be a moment when I realise I'm supposed to have an intense dislike of all the characters, maybe that's the whole point. I don't know. If someone wants to spoil it for me, I don't much care.

Anyway - Georgina made me do it!


Friday, March 28, 2008

17.12 On Time
A bulky man in an Astrakhan coat sits down in front of me. I overheard him asking which train this was and, by his accent, I would guess he's not from around these parts.

He removes a sheaf of papers from an extremely ugly, yet expensive looking, leather briefcase. I don't even have to look over his shoulder to be able to read: "Isle of Man Companies Act" and "ordinary shares to the value of ..." and " ... writing to confirm Mr ShiftyAsHell as a customer of good standing with this bank" and "lasting power of Attorney". It is probably unwise of him to rifle through his private papers in a public place with such wanton disregard for discretion.

If I were a desperately nosey person I could've easily written down those account numbers and names.

Even someone as disinterested as myself couldn't help but notice the ostentatious and distinctive signet ring he is wearing on his left hand. I decide it is the emblem of some sinister secret society.

By the time he gets off at PoshStation I'm convinced that, at the very least, he's on his way to divest a confused, wealthy widow of her vast fortune.

I probably read too much Enid Blyton as a child.

Kiss Me Goodbye - Johnathan Rice
Nothing But A Blur From A Bullet Train - Lambchop
The Girl Who Waves At Trains - The Lilac Time
I'm Taking The Train Home - The Twilight Sad
The Last Time - The Rolling Stones
Goodbye Girl - Squeeze
A Fond Farewell - Elliott Smith
Last Stop: This Town - Eels


Thursday, March 27, 2008

7.31 On Time
It's back!!!
Only the first episode but already I'm watching with a blanket over my head.

Incredibly, there are still plenty of people 'out there' willing to sacrifice any shred of integrity they might possess (not that there's much room for integrity in Sralan's world) and expose their bonkers, self-aggrandising, arrogant selves to the ridicule of the whole world purely to get on The Telly.

Thank goodness. is priceless.

Stretch Out And Wait - The Smiths
Have You Seen Her? - The Chi-lites

Disappeared - Richmond Fontaine
Float On - Modest Mouse
Plug In Baby - Muse
Cold As Ice - Foreigner
Pop Song - Sigur Ros


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Five days on my own, with no Internet access.

I wasn't looking forward to it, but it turned out pretty good ~ thanks to the wonder that is the DVD boxed set.

Yes, finally, I am Wired. TheOlderBoy, to his credit, has been trying to tell me for years ~ I just wasn't listening carefully enough I guess.

Now, I need to get hold of Seasons 2, 3 and 4... right now...

Way Down In The Hole - The Blind Boys Of Alabama


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

17.12 On Time
SwarthyStellaDrinkingGuy is having a pally 'haven't seen you in ages' chat with someone he hasn't seen in ages. The reason for this, it transpires, is that he watches FC now, instead of Utd. I warm to him even more.

The passenger who gets on and sits behind me at PoshStation is chittering softly to himself, like a tiny monkey. He (I am pretty sure it is a 'he' although I daren't look round for confirmation) chides himself gently: "I told you so. I told you so" and, as the train pulls out, makes "woo-woo, woo-woo" noises under his breath.

He's sucking enthusiastically on a mint now. Chomping noisily, while managing to keep up the conversation he's having with himself. My curiosity gets the better of me, I want to know if he's a regular and therefore 'safe' or if I need to keep my wits about me. I half turn - but catch only a glimpse of wild, wiry, grey hair and an impression of frailty.

As we disembark, LaidBackCommuter gestures his usual 'after you' and asks if I've recovered from the morning. Belying his name he says: "I was so angry I nearly had a stroke".

If my battery hadn't died this morning I would be oblivious to any of this.


7.31 Cancelled
8.10 One Hour and Six Minutes Late
The weather is to blame for everything.

Except for the fact that my jukebox's battery is dead. That is my fault for forgetting to charge it up. It seems to need an awful lot of charging up these days. But then, neither of us is getting any younger.

Under the circumstances I am feeling extraordinarily tranquil.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Love Becomes A Savage

7.31 On Time
GrumpyChops Hepworth interviews GrumpyChops Costello in this month's Word Magazine.
As the boycott is still in force I am unable to read it myself and am feigning a total lack of interest.

At least I think I'm feigning it.

Maybe I really don't care how much Elvis is enjoying life now he's an OldDad and his home (well ... one of his homes) is on Vancouver Island. Who would've thought getting over a thirty year crush could be this easy?

Maybe it's about time.

Love Becomes A Savage - The Lilac Time
Scattered Black & Whites - Elbow
Lady Of A Certain Age - Divine Comedy
The Art Teacher - Rufus Wainwright
Wicked Game - Chris Isaak
Apres Ski - Cinerama
Sold - Joe Henry

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Monday, March 10, 2008

17.12 On Time
OldFishWife returned from Mexico with travellers tales and Tequila liqueur chocolates.

By half ten, several hours before anyone else had spotted their potential, I'd scoffed three. I'm kind of hoping they're an acquired taste: maybe not for everyone?

The Mourners Of St Pauls - Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family
Bloodless - Tom McRae
Back In The Car Park - The Lilac Time
Western Skies - Roddy Frame
Such Great Heights - The Postal Service
Tiny Vessels - Death Cab For Cutie
Fugitive Motel - Elbow
Wild World - Cat Stevens


Friday, March 07, 2008

I'm Leaving You Because I Don't Love You

7.31 Eight Minutes Late
It feels wrong. So wrong.
A betrayal; a breach of the trust built up over so many years.

We’ve hit a sticky patch and I’m looking for the easy way out. I should stay put and work through it, not walk away, washing my hands of any responsibility I might have for allowing things get into this sorry state in the first place.

But it's over. From now on, the other carriage is the one for me.

Last night I had to go backwards, but it was still worth it.

Breathe Me – Sia
Not The Tremblin’ Kind – Laura Cantrell
Ran For Miles – Gemma Hayes
Pink Lights – Laura Veirs
My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist – The Decemberists
All Time - Lorien
I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You – Jens Lekman


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

"...the words of love in whispers and the acts of love in screams"

7.31 On Time
I may be forced to change my behaviour.

SkinnyLegalWoman’s cackle and the relentless bitching of her and her gang will be the deaf of me. However much I increase the volume I can still hear her whine.

I may need to learn to sit in the other carriage.

This would be an unnatural act and every fibre of my being revolts at the thought. But it’s either change my seat and deal with the new anxieties that will inevitably follow, or stay put and continue to allow my spirit to be simultaneously crushed and poisoned by their increasingly narky wittering.

"Forfucksake", I fear I will snap: "Can't you keep a lid on it for just one day? How can you find a way to complain about the train when it is on time and has been on time all week???" And while I'm at it: "Do you really think being sarcastic to the conductor makes you sound big and clever? Yes? Well it doesn't. It makes you sound like the smug, ignorant, fuckwit you are".

In my fantasy, after I've said this, the rest of the carriage gives me a round of applause. In reality I'm sure I'd get a slap. She looks the type.

In a
tit-for-tat move born of disillusionment I have been boycotting Elvis Costello of late, but I don’t have it in me to skip past Brilliant Mistake.

One day he will be sorry. As in he will say 'sorry'. I’m not making any threats here.

Magic – Ben Folds Five
Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie & The Hot Rods

Get What You Want - Operator Please
You Make Me Feel Brand New - The Stylistics
Damaged - Primal Scream
Hammering The Cramps – Sparklehorse
Brilliant Mistake – Elvis Costello

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Bigger, Brighter, Better?

17.12 On Time
Can it be that I'm cheering up?

I don't want to speak to soon or anything but the weight of the world seems to have redistributed itself.

North Star - Roddy Frame


Saturday, March 01, 2008

Football league in "getting it right" shock!


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