s h a r d s

990702.1845 great western train , paddington to penzance

your correspondent sits on the cripplingly expensive rich-bastards-escaping-to-their-country-houses-on-a-friday-evening train out of london . the air is filled with the fragrence of british rail greaseburgers and the delicate tinkle of scandinavian mobile phones . i always try to work out which handful of my fellow-travellers will still be here by the time we pass over brunel’s bridge into cornwall .

the american gentleman to my left got out his laptop pc as soon as we were under way and has been playing < risk > ever since . the german boy opposite me looks a bit miserable . the stern-looking lady who completes our table is buried in her glossy magazine .

we are stopped in a field beside a big sign offering offices to let .

the family across the aisle from me looks to have been on a short break to london . papa is sitting reading the star-studded brochure from madame tussaud’s irrepressible waxworks . mama and young girl are enjoying their steaming offal from the buffet . young boy has , i think , finished his already . he is pulled up over the back of his chair looking at the remaining morsals with avid wonder .

.1851 . an announcement from the senior conductor . the reason we’re static in a field is that someone threw a brick through one of the carriage windows . o dear .

we move once again , but the conductor returns to tell us we will stop at the next station so that he and the driver can knock out the remaining glass from the broken window , a < hazard to passenger safety > .

this has been a very strange week in london . i have found things . i have lost things .

today has been extravagantly hot in london . beneath my backpacks and saxophone i became rather conscious of this . apparently cornwall is not nearly so splendid , langouring beneath a persistant overcast .

i’ll stay tonight with anna and adam in hayle . then the helicopter from penzance to st mary’s tomorrow afternoon .

: cH

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