b r a s s

[ 19:57 friday 25 may – paddington station, london ]

monday is a public holiday so this afternoon i decided on impulse to spend the weekend with mum and dad. my train should have departed quarter of an hour ago but it hasn’t even arrived at the station yet. no matter, i’m content to sit here cross-legged on the great western information desk, listening to the station brass band playing next to me on the concourse.

i remember hearing the band many years ago but i assumed it had been swept away in one of the recent spasms of privatisation and modernisation. nowadays the security services would probably see this thirty-five piece ensemble of mostly elderly folks as a sinister threat to the nation’s transport. but no, against all odds here they are still pom-pom-pomming away.

the most delightful thing is the way the train staff wait for each song to finish before announcing the latest batch of delays. only once has the announcer cut into the middle of a song. the conductor chose a suitable hiatus at which the band sustained a chord and waited for the announcement to end before continuing the song.

: c :

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