Sometimes it doesn’t work out. Too much stuff to carry. Can’t risk crumpling those trousers. Two punctures, knackered chainset, handlebars sold for scrap. You know how it is. For a combination of reasons 1 and 2, yesterday was one of those days. So I hopped on the train, camera in pocket, book in hand, watching the world roll past. Train travel to me is an occasional treat*
Arriving at Queen Street Station, it was a maelstrom of people. Queues were building to buy tickets to escape the station, elbows were employed to create space and competitive barging was elevated to competition standard. Briefly I rued the absence of my bike (all travel choices are only as good as your last experience). Greasing my sides, I wriggled and slipped through the crowd like an eel over rocks (a side benefit of hours spent on hills). Exiting the turnstiles, I bought a Big Issue from the larger than life seller at the door. Here is a man who deserves every penny of his commission for being much more civil to commuters than commuters are to each other. I sidestepped people dashing in, plugged in my headphones, set the player to shuffle and hit play. With 1538 songs nestling on the SD card, the song that streamed into my eardrums? ‘Night Mail’ by Public Service Broadcasting; a piece about trains, public utility and even mentions Cardiff. What were the chances of that eh? For a morning on the rails with the masses, PSB’s music was just so bloody right.
Normal service resumed today and the 8.30 from Whitchurch arrived on time (on two wheels).
*In the same sense that cake is an occasional treat. Great when you have it, but if you lived solely on the bloody stuff, it would soon make you ill.