Unexpected pleasures

Well, I wasn’t too sure about travelling as I like many others have been somewhat locked down. In the midst of packing the stress was a little relieved when an old friend told me of his birdwatching activities somewhere in Suffolk. He had seen some rare type of Artic traveller which no one else in his group had glimpsed. I asked him had he perhaps imagined this. Fortunately my voice modulation must have kicked in and he didn’t hear this question.

My cases were less heavy than expected and I was able to use the bus rack easily.The driver greeted me by name and I realised it was a friend and laconic poet who asked me my destination. He writes amusing and whimsical poems about his experiences at the wheel. A lady on board was telling of her success at University Challenge. She had worked out the origin of a Polish dog as being Pomerania. Upon arriving at the Station I had expected a phalanx of officials impeding any travel. Clearly, I have been reading too many novels like Anna Seghar’s Transit.

Instead I was in fact welcomed by Railway staff with coffee, biscuits and offered drinking water. This is totally unexpected and quite cheering too. Even the usually locked down waiting room was open. Here two elderly fellows were cheering each other like characters in a late Kingsley Amis novel. One was telling of his experiences at a recent wedding where one gentleman was surrounded by multiple ex-wives at the celebration table. Then he remarked of another jolly lady who spent some six hours at the event. “All that time” he related,”she had two glasses, one in each hand”. Hence, people are ticking over in their every day lives. We could do with Molly Panter Downes or her contemporary equivalent to record such matters.

Read Panter-Downes at Persephone Books

By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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