There’s probably only one thing more dull than listening to other people incoherently recounting their dreams or the plots of films (invariably, in my experience, when they can’t remember the names of the characters – “so, anyway, then the Tom Cruise character, well, his boss with the moustache turns out to be… oh, did I say that he went back and got the gun from the desk? Well, he did, and …”) , and that’s when people tell you about their bad travel experiences. So, let me not entertain you. Briefly.
After the coach I was travelling on arrived back in London over 90mins late the other day, and I’d walked for a longish time because half the tube lines appeared to have been knocked out by a power failure, I found a working tube line and got almost-home. Then I got on a bus for the last mile or so, only for two cars, as if they’d been awaiting their cue, to crash into each other right in front of the bus, injuring no-one but blocking the road to oncoming traffic. So I had to walk the last bit too.
There’s a song by Everything But The Girl (I think it’s on the album ‘Eden’, and is called ‘Soft Touch’ but I could well be wrong, I don’t have the tape to hand right now), where Ben Watt sings about various sad things, in an accumulating and escalating tale of woe. The first time I heard it, I actually laughed at the seemingly relentless waves of despondency – and that’s kind of how I felt about this much-extended journey; it was actually getting so ridiculous, and the delays just kept coming from ever more unexpected angles, that I found it funny, and now I really can’t look at it in a bad light (which is good – I firmly believe that a bad journey at the end of a good time is likely to cast a shadow over your memories of the whole event).
I’m sure that, psychologically speaking, this would be diagnosed as a combination of hysteria and false memory syndrome. Which is why I hope no psychologists read this. I won’t go back there, I tell you.