I did expend a great many words in yesterday's Daily Blog relating the tale of my fleeting relationship with the fella I met on the station platform. There is something interesting, I feel, about conversations with people
you will never meet again. I have quite a lot of those conversations, owing to my inability to stay quiet when sitting or standing next to a likely looking Kindred Spirit on the Pulse bus, in the queue at Tesco's checkout, or - indeed - on a railway station
What I particularly appreciated about my Brief Encounter on Wednesday was that the gentleman concerned didn't take advantage of my friendliness and insist on sitting next to me on the train, so requiring
us to chat all the way to London. Instead we each took our chosen places in the train and I was able to enjoy the peace that comes with quaffing my coffee while reading the newspaper from front page to back.
days I am inclined to skip read the newspaper, relying on the news on TV or radio to fill in the gaps in my knowledge and understanding. However most days Mr B asks me to read aloud a particular article, usually on the sports pages. In this way, I have become
far better informed about the World of Sport, which may (or may not) stand me in good stead if I ever meet up with a sporty type on the bus, in the supermarket queue or on the station platform.
On a train
journey I have the exquisite pleasure of reading every single article, including many which I would probably have skipped over in the heat of a normal, busy day. Here, then, are some of the interesting facts I learnt from Wednesday's edition of the i newspaper.
Quidditch has emerged from the pages of the Harry Potter books to become a bona fide sport. There is actually a premier Quidditch league and, as you might expect, the players wield broomsticks. I wasn't sure, from my
reading of this piece of news, whether being able to fly on a broomstick was a prerequisite for selection to the premier league. Or the Minor League for that matter. It brought to mind the expression of wonder on my grandchildren's faces when I explained,
once upon a time, that their Grandad and I were keen cribbage players. Yes, you're right, they thought I said "Quidditch" not "cribbage." I could have pretended, in the interests of gaining Brownie Points, but I didn't want to be found out by being asked to
give a Broomstick Demo.
Oh, here's a photo of President Obama on a visit to Greece, inspecting the Greek evzones (Greece's exotic answer to our bear-skinned guardsmen.) On a long ago holiday to Athens, Mr
B and I loved watching the evzones negotiate steps - they would trot up them but, on descent, would simply launch themselves from the top step to land at the bottom. Our Boy, sorting through our loft recently, came across the little band of white-skirted evzones
which we brought him back from that holiday.
It's good to see a Christmassy story - but, oh dear, icy winters are threatening the health of reindeer. I hope Mrs Claus has reminded Santa to stock up on the
anti-freeze. I would probably have spent more time worrying over this forecast, were it not for the fact that my attention was inexplicably drawn to a piece about the curious love life of the flamingo. No, you really don't want to know...
Now this is interesting - bank notes in India are to be marked with indelible ink in a bid to prevent fraud. I am remembering the annual sponsored walk at the primary school where my Foursome were pupils - and how the Darling
Daughters spent the whole five miles of their first walk worrying about the numbers scrawled on the back of their hands and whether they would be branded numbers 145, 146 and 147 for ever.
at London Victoria I realised that I had yet to sample the Fashion Pages or the sports report. I could have taken the paper with me to read on the train journey home but I was already encumbered with my bottle of water and I knew I would almost certainly leave
both paper and bottle on the table of whatever eaterie the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I chose to grace with our presence.
"So what's the news?" my daughter wanted to know, when we met at our customary
rendezvous (outside the Ladies loos). Dear reader, I could have held forth at length on the love life of the flamingo, anti fraud activities in India, the plight of the reindeer et al.
But I didn't.