Top Deck

A long day in Middlesex recording a radio programme about kids going mental on the top decks of buses after school. If you’ve never bimbled round Greenford on a bus full of teenagers kissing their teeth at you any time you try to ask them a question, you’ve never lived. One of the boys, aged 14 or so refused to answer my questions about the time he was stabbed on the bus, saying ‘Man an’ man don’t combine, see what I’m saying, blood?’ Mind you, I suppose I had invited him to come and talk by patting the empty bus  seat next to me.

I had to leave home at 6am  in utter darkness to get to Leominster station to catch the train to London. Icy roads, cold station, sodium lights whose  focus was softened by freezing fog on the platform. No hint of dawn until the train was coming up to Abergavenny. But was that night, or did it count as morning? A dozen or so people were on the platform, starting their commute to work.

Coming back, I just missed the connection from Newport up to Leominster, so I had to wait at Newport station for a chilly hour. If you are a native Welsh speaker who needs to change trains at Newport, the fact that the announcement in Welsh comes before the announcement in English must be most gratifying, though even a native might struggle to work out where Henffordd and Cair might be.

It was an easy wait, though, as I was reading Alberto Manguel’s collection of  essays, ‘The Library at Night’. Proper!

Home just after 11; realised on the drive back from Leominster that I don’t know where the switch is in my car for the foglights,  if indeed I have any.

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~ by Ian Marchant on December 16, 2008.

One Response to “Top Deck”

  1. You patted a vacant seat next to you on the bus in order to invite an agressive teen to join you? Ian? You did that? That’s just a few steps away from active grooming! Ah well, at least you survived to tell the tale.

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