Having already undertaken my new daily commute for a month now, I already have some tales of note which I believe are worthy of report. Further, given the sporadic nature of this blog (some days thankfully have very little of note worthy of account here) and the recurrent nature of some of my tales or the characters therein, this post can act as a handy reference of defined terms hereafter.
My actual journey from home to work involves: a short walk (or admittedly stumbled jog on the seemingly regular occurrence that I am running a few minutes late), a 17 minute bus journey, a 57 minute train journey and finally a 10 minute walk from station to office. The return is pretty much the same save that the train is reportedly 2 minutes faster (one fewer station stops) and the bus journey is a few minutes longer.
So, with the boring bits out of the way I shall move on to set out some of the now recurring characters. I have already come to realise that many other travellers routinely share parts of my journey and some are already proving to be contenders for the award of main antagonist to my plight!
Bacon Sandwich Lady means the lady (who I now know to be a teacher/trainee teacher) who brings a toasted bacon sandwich wrapped in tin foil to consume during the journey. The rustle of the tin foil, her inability to hold on to the sandwich between bites and the painfully drawn out ritual of eating the thing riles me no end!
Radiographer means the newly qualified radiographer who started her new position mid way through my first week at work. An incredibly loud (by her own admission during my first encounter) annoying individual who expects reverence and special treatment because she is an NQ radiographer. Proudly sporting as prominently as possible her staff pass, she spends the majority of each journey with her mobile phone glued to her ear keenly berating her more junior/trainee colleagues, complaining about her hours/commute/salary, pondering why her boyfriend won’t ever give her compliments and plotting how she can get said boyfriend to attend her graduation when her parents have no knowledge of his existence. When not on the phone, she will be putting on make up or painstakingly pinning up her hair (flailing her arms everywhere without a thought for those unfortunate enough to be sat in close proximity).
Beige Mac Man means the man, invariably sporting a beige mac, who gets his coffee and cheese and ham croissant at the platform’s Pumpkin Cafe shop at the same time I arrive each morning (and on the rare occasion I get out promptly is on the same train home). Having boarded and travelled at the rear of the train, he then proceeds to the front of the train shortly before arrival at the station to exit – clearly a seasoned commuter.
NHS Crew means the posse of NHS workers who travel en masse together. A varied bunch that are generally harmless save for a propensity to bemoan the prospect of potential cuts as a result of the impending spending review with one breath, only to launch in to one-upmanship regarding their next ski trip or mini break in the next.
Sleeper means the incredibly tall sleeping man who is already on the train when I get on. Taking up an enviable table position he stretches out (blocking the opposite seat) and sleeps throughout the entire journey.
Status Quo Man means the Francis Rossi wannabe who sports a blue boiler suit and is generally the only other passenger at the bus stop in the morning. Has a passion for Elizabeth Duke jewellery and according to said ‘bling’ is apparently a ‘DAD’.