I’m seated on a delightfully unbusy train to Deal in Kent which provides me that opportunity I absolutely love- to spread out and decamp. Bag and bits on the seat next to me, with a tray down for the thermos and snacks: a second one for my laptop. Headphones are on- Brian Eno’s Another Green World. The fabric of my poncho and various other items temporarily reupholster my surrounds- its lush. As is my general desire, I’m digging into a pile of cashews and drinking tea: currently Fortnum and Mason “Royal Blend”, though it could as near be PG tips as this thermos has a somewhat democratizing effect on its contents.
The sloping countryside is bathed still in a sleepy mist- way past breakfast time. There’s a smell of home made sandwiches, just unwrapped, coming from across the carriage and peaking thru the seats I spy them- crusts off. Eavesdropping I discover these are turkey sandwiches and observe a bottle of white wine. It’s 10.35am I note, with a sort of sober superiority, lifting the tea to my lips.
The train is running a bit late due to some problem on the tracks and we’ve stopped for a while by a little villiage. The long, soft shadows of the english winter shape this rather dream like view. I try to photograph the hazy sun- wearily noting a tendency the smart phone has instilled in me- a certain obligation to take a picture of anything and everything I think attractive. A practice that’s become a sort of contempory torture.
The train pulls into Deal and I dismount to one of my favorite sounds- the mournful longing of the seagull. That “something lost somewhere along the way” kind of sound triggering childhood seaside memories, imagined perhaps, of salted and vinegared chips wrapped in newspaper. I’m a nostaglia addict lolling about in memory much of the time.
I spy my friend Maggie thru the departing crowd further down the platform. By the time I reach her she’s in negotiation to help an elderly lady stranded with a rather large suitcase at the bottom of stairs. The bulk of passengers have walked straight past but Maggie carries the bag over the footbridge. I’d like to carry that into 2019… how can I be of more help?
Happy New Year 2019