A looong train journey to Plymouth, spent with a wisdom tooth, a god-have-I-fainted-again cold, and a hideous third-eye of a spot. Sat on the floor of the guard’s carriage, with two foreign professors spilling coffee over me and laughing.
The train steward turns out to be a Screaming Mary of the old school. One with flair and personality. “Cooo-eee! This is your steward John! I’m stuck at the back of the train. Aren’t we crowded today! I would tell you about the on-board shop, but lord knows you’ll have to fight your way there to sample our delicious range of sandwiches.”
Later: “And we bring you now on wheels of friendship to historic Exeter St David’s, historic gateway to the historic West Country.”
PS: Have just realised. There’s a strict ratio. For every cute squaddie in a carriage you get one badly behaved child. If there’s a cute squaddie and a cute student, then you get badly behaved child with loud parent of the coaxing school (“Shall we sing the apple-eating song? Shall we?”)