Robert Hampton

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28th September 2013

Homeward

Train at InvernessLeaving Inverness behind, Ian and I set off for home. By extreme good fortune, although we had booked our train tickets separately, the seat reservation system had allocated us seats facing each other across a table. I was glad we had reservations, for the train was busy and became more crowded the further south we travelled.

A variety of personalities all jostled for space. I noticed a teenager wearing iPod earphones, who was turfed out of his seat on three separate occasions during the journey, when the person who had reserved it turned up to claim it. Immediately behind Ian, an American couple had settled in for the long journey to Edinburgh. The wife was reading a tabloid magazine, picking out stories of interest and loudly discussing them with her husband. We heard her opinions on Prince Charles (how could he pick Camilla over Lady Di?) and Simon Cowell (his new baby is a surrogate, like Neil Patrick Harris). Her husband, meanwhile, buried his head in a book called “Whiskeypedia”. By the end of our journey, Ian and I had our eye-rolls perfectly synchronised.

The automatic announcer on the train kept getting out of step with the station stops. For some reason, this seemed to amuse a group of people sitting at a table further down the carriage. Every time it announced the wrong station, gales of laughter were heard.

This train was also notable for the frankly alarming sign in the lavatory. Basically, don’t use this toilet if you have any genital piercings.

warning-magnets

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