Friday, July 21, 2006


The commute is perhaps one of the nicest things about my working life. That's not something you hear everyday, is it? The train journey from Westbury to Bath, especially in the early mornings is dreamy. It encompasses rolling green fields, misty valleys and quaint villages made of Bath stone that glow in the early morning sunshine.

I like to sit by the window, head angled against the glass. From this vantage I can watch the rails go past, great long silver snakes that are constant agaist the blur of the landscape. They connect me with home, and connect me with work and don't change wherever I go.

Trains are one of my favourite forms of transport. They hold memories for me. The first I remember is going to Southampton with my mother, to stay with my grandparents. There's a new label on my rucksack that I make my mother read to me. It has my adress on it, and it's in it gets lost. I remember the ribena we bought in cartons from the refreshments trolley, and me being adament I had to give my own ticket to the conductor, not my mother.

Other memories encompass those shopping trips you'd take with friends in the summer holidays, buying pittance but loveing the excitement of being teenagers out without parents. Then come the one where I'd be snuggled in someone's lap on the way home from the cinema. Then the most recent, the glimmering journeys to Southampton, full of books and learning and interesting conversations with my fellow passengers.

I love travelling on the train when I went to Holland with my family. We travelled from Wassenaar to Amsterdam on a double decker tilty train that was clean and fast and puctual and oh - so - cheap! I look forward to the trip from the airport to Centraal Station when Chris and I go to Amsterdam, even though it's a notorius journey for thieves. I shall sit on my bag and refuse to be distracted by knocks on the window and my fellow passengers. I shall even ignore you, Chris, and breathe in that train carriage smell and make a new train memory to add to all my others.

Of course, another nice things baout trains is the fact that they provide nice mindless, empty time for knitting. My cushion cover is coming on well, I am about 1/3 through the back, and debating closures. I think I might make it longer than half of the front and make and envelope type closure to slip the cushion pad through.

----Edit for Yellow----


Yellow said...

Yeah I love train journeyts too...

I know about journey's to Bath because I had to pass by Bath on my way to be interviewed in Bristol.

You can see the University of Bath from the train... it's not pretty!!!

I spent half od last year sitting on a train being interviewed.... waste of time I got the job I came to by car.

Anyway what this blog needs is some photo graphic evidence of train based prettyness...please.

Alex Segall said...

Lets think of it like this... Have you ever read Dante's Inferno? Remember the seven circles of Dis? Well, get on the Tube at the evening rush hour, after your ten hour shift at the office. Stand packed like a sardine in temperatures of over 100, pushing 110, I would guess.

Then, find yourself with a large, smelly armpit pressed against your face, instead of cool air, the occasional sip of a smoothie and the mental stimulation of modern Italian prose (translated, of course, although I look forward to learning to read the original). Repeat all summer.

This is, of course, when I finish at five. When they let me finish at eight pip emma, then, well, I'm laughing, aren't I.

I do it for the money - it's not like I enjoy spending three months sticking photos to passport applications! Ah well, life goes on, and as they said to countless emotional public school wrecks, it's "character-forming".