I've always had a bit of a Thing about Trains.
Not in the sense of spotting - you know I can't do anoraks - but the whole travelling thing. The waiting at stations, the checking of the time, the being late, the being early. Baggage. Everyone going about their own business, living out their own story, hundreds of individual journeys, everyone about to embark on a different adventure. The race to get a good seat, by the window, with a view. The thrill when the doors clank shut. The Romance! The Possibilities! The Anticipation! The Cost!!!
Of course, it ought to be a steam engine for the ultimate experience and, inconveniently, there aren't any of those on our Cotswold line to London, but I did have a proper Waiting Under the Clock feeling the other day, when invited on a Blind Date.
Before you all start recommending good divorce lawyers to The Husband, I was off to meet a fellow writer for a drink, arranged by a mutual friend. Emily Carlisle is a columnist for Oxford Life magazine and writes an award-winning parenting blog. She has also finished her first novel and - get this - knows how to write a synopsis without chewing her leg off in the process. She is also young and brave, so you see I was A Bit Nervous.
Gosh, what an evening. We talked, drank, laughed, cried, and discovered lots of things that bind us together - gin, motherhood, impatience with stupid people, not to mention the Overwhelming and often Lonely Compulsion to write. She even liked my frilly umbrella. It was stimulating, warm, real and I would happily wait for Emily under the clock for hours, even if there are only diesel locomotives available and the gin has run out.