I'm enjoying an ever so rare opportunity to travel 1st class rail down to London for one of my regular business meetings. With 4 seats and a huge table and "at seat" service all to myself it's a pleasant contrast to the noisy, cramped misery of my standard class return on Friday.
As a self admitted travel snob, I love people watching on these trips to the smoke and sometimes amuse myself by trying to guess the life stories of my fellow passengers.
With my planned train having been cancelled due to an "incident", I'd jumped onto the first available coach preceded by an elderly gent with a thatch of grey hair, he seemed to know the train crew pretty well as he chatted amiably over his half moon specs and with an accent that would have rivalled Penelope Keith I reckoned he was on his way to the House of Lords, but the clincher had to be his red corduroy trousers, only ever sported by people so rich they just don't care what they look like!
Sitting across the aisle from me is Miss Trying to be Businesswoman, dark blue suit - check, laptop - check, "just a mineral water for me" - check, but OK magazine - FAIL and tights with more ladders than a chimney sweep -fail.
Mr See how Impressive I look is sitting behind me. Laptop out, iPad out, papers spread over the table......only minor issue is that he's spent the last hour playing Candy Crush or some equally mind crushing drivel on his phone.
I think it must be a condition of the rail franchise that every first class carriage contains at least one bewildered granny, bundled on no doubt, by well meaning offspring but struggling to keep up with the storm of requests "tickets please", "now I know I had them a minute ago", "hot or cold drinks madam?", " I'm 87 years old you know", bless em.
Mr I'm in for everything I can get is knocking back the free booze like an Alky in an off licence and shovelling in free bananas like a demented chimp.
Mr Out of his Depth, got on at Oxenholme - The Lake District (for the uninitiated this is the rail equivalent of Glasgow Prestwick I.e. it's no where near the Lake District) . He's sporting his full fell walking gear and has the look of a man just waiting to be told to get back to standard class where he belongs.
Mr and Mrs Lottery winner are on today too, just a bit too loud and a bit too much jewellery and fake tan, but firmly loyal to the dead giveaway Daily Record, I ask you Daily Record in 1st class.
Mr I'm so glad I'm away from the kids, got on at Carlisle, closed his eyes and has merrily snored the journey away.
And me......well Peter Perfect of course.