I may have gone off the train journey to Glasgow. This morning's train really put the lean into Pendolino, and just when I was thinking "oh dear", the woman next to me threw up. It wasn't exorcist style, but she did put the toilet out of order, and wheelie luggage was spreading sick thinly through the carriage like cheap margarine at a vicarage tea.
It was after Wigan that things got bad. A woman got on with her toddler, who were a handful. The first I really knew about it was the regular kicks in my back. Then she reached over from the seat behind and handed me a plug. "Can you plug this in?" the mother asked. "It's for his DVD. The battery is getting low."
He son flicked it open, and a very loud counting song started up.
"Oh," I said, unplugging my laptop, "Only it's a bit inconvenient."
The mother stared at me. "It keeps him quiet," she said.
"Do you have headphones for that DVD?" I asked as the counting song continued. "It is rather loud."
The mother shook her head. "No," she said.
"Oh," I said, "How delightful."
I'm not that kind of gay. But I sat for the next two hours with the power cord draped across my shoulder while her child sang, screamed, and continued to kick the back of my chair.
If my cat behaved like that on a train, the RSPCA would take it away from me, or I just wouldn't travel with it. But I hate the horrors that are inflicted on us in the interests of keeping children quiet. Especially when they're loud and don't work.
On the plus side, my basic arithmetic is loads better.