To Sit Or Not To Sit …… Or Giving Up The Fight


Picture it.

I know all you locals are not having trouble picturing that…..Nothing unusual really.

I finish work. 
Trudge down to the train station. 
Manage to get a seat …… first time. 
(Score 20 points for me!)

It’s the small things. 
It is! 
You know it.

An elderly couple get on the train. 
Have that split second of “I’m exhausted. Please someone else get up for them.”

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. 
You all thought that at least once. 

A split second later, a gentleman offers his seat. 

“Saved” I think to myself. 

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. 
You all thought that at least once. 

I settle back into my seat and start to get comfy again. 
Well, as comfy as you can get on a train seat. 

Two stops further. A family get on.
One older lady. One older man. With their two, I assume children, in tow.

Is it just me or does anyone else wonder why we say that? Lady and man. Shouldn’t it be Lady and Lord! Or woman and man? 
No one? Just me then? 
So be it. 

But I digress. Where was I? 
Ah yes …. The two older folk. 

So I jump up…without hesitating I’ll have you know… punching the air with congratulations for myself at beating anyone else at being a good and decent human being. 
(Score another 20 points)

……. One moment while I pat myself on the back.
Ok, I’m all patted out. 

Don’t be a hater. Don’t judge. For the third time.
You’ve all done that at least once. 

I look at her longingly ….. waiting for her to make the move to my now vacant seat. 
My instinct clearly tells me she’s an out-of-towner. 
That, and the fact she is speaking Italian and has a “tourist” backpack on. 
You gotta move fast on he train else someone else gets it!

I’m not met with a face full of thanks.
Im not met with a face full of gratitude. 

I’m only met with ….. Laughter. 

I win this one though.
Her family …. who should be supportive, I’d like to add …. continue laughing …. 
at her …. 
pointing …. 
at her ….
her hair.

And then, just as they’re about to get off the train, declare loudly to their beloved mother … “We told you to wash the grey away!”


Next time. 
Take the seat.


Please Sir, May I Have That Seat…Or…It’s Mine!! It’s Mine!! It’s all mine!!

So, I love watching people.

I especially love watching people getting on the train.

For those of you who perhaps don’t use trains often, you need to get on one, sit back and be entertained!

One family member … Of course I won’t say who …

No! I’m not telling!

No! Stop asking – you’re just being annoying now!


Now where was I?

Ah – right – family member. This Family Member usually enters a train by falling into it! I’m serious! It’s true! I CANNOT make these things up!
Good thing they close the doors on the other side! (now THAT would be funny – in one side and out the other!)

But anyway, where was I? Again??

Ah yes – Trains.

So, people have their favourite seats. Fair enough. I could admit that I do too but that is not the point of this story, and of course I would never admit to it anyway!

But when Mr Regular Traveller gets on the train and someone else, someone new, someone completely unknowingly (Let’s call him Mr Newbie) sits in Mr Regular Traveller’s seat Well … I like to sit back and watch the silent drama unfold.

The poor little Mr Newbie doesn’t even know what’s hit him when out of the side of his sightline, there is Mr Regular Traveller throwing daggers at poor little Mr Newbie.

Not real daggers. Daggers with his eyes. You know what I mean. Don’t make me explain!

Problem is Mr Newbie is oblivious so it just looks like Mr Regular Traveller is grumpy and hates everyone.

You KNOW what I’m talking about! EVERYONE has done it!!

Then there are those passengers that wait on the platform, at EXACTLY the right place for the door in order to get on the train first and get “their” seat!

Little do they know that Mr Newbie is standing at the next door with his eye on the same seat, totally oblivious to the fact that Mr Regular Traveller is already revving his engines, beating his feet into the ground to get a headstart through the door.

Well. The drama that unfolds would make TV Drama History.

Well, it could.



Okay. It won’t – but it certainly is entertaining to watch!

The train pulls in.
The doors slide open.
The passengers get off the train.
Mr Regular Traveller checks the availability of “his” seat.
Mr Regular Traveller checks the passengers around him.
He puts one foot on the train while other are filing off (obviously he already has an advantage)
And waits.
And waits.
And waits.
“COME ON PEOPLE! I have a seat to get!”
And waits.
And then. It’s all clear!
He launches himself on the train.
Elbows his way through the crowds (one person) and stampedes his way to his chair.
He’s looking left.
He’s looking right.
He’s still ahead of everyone.
He gets to “his” seat.
Wipes the sweat from his brow.
Looks up.
And sees a pair of feet in front of “his” seat!

Mr Newbie has beaten him!

Who does this person think they are!
Mr Regular Traveller glares at Mr Newbie. Rolls his eyes. Even tuts (although I think that may be in his head and totally inaudible).

Mr Newbie is oblivious. Merely settling into his seat and reading the gossip for the day.

Mr Regular Traveller is devastated “I’ll get you tomorrow.”

Problem is. Tomorrow Mr Newbie becomes Mr Regular Traveller.

Now if you’ll excuse me. I need to retrieve MY seat from someone elses posterior – or at the very least make sure thy are watching while I roll my eyes at them!

Wrong Turn … Or Where The Hell Am I?

That moment when you realise you’re on the wrong train.

Going in the wrong direction.

Far. Far. Far. Away. From. Where. You. Need. To. Be.

Don’t laugh! I know you’ve all been there at some point in your life.

Maybe not always on a train.
(Perhaps it was in the car. I’m the first to admit I’ve done that. On numerous occasions! Even with the SatNav!)
Okay, so I wasn’t that far wrong on the train. It was only out of my way by 30minutes.

But when you’re at the wrong end of where you want to be, it really doesn’t matter if you’re five minutes wrong or five hours wrong.

You’re still wrong!

And my book is finished.
I may actually be forced to speak to someone on the train! Shock. Horror.

It reminds me of the time when …..


Dammit … I’ve missed my stop again ….

Keeping Warm …. Or Simply Branded

Picture it. London. Winter 2012. Minus 4C!

It’s so cold that I’ve actually put on….The Winter Coat.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have two coats. One for a ‘normal’ winter. One for a winter like we had today.

You see, we haven’t exactly had the freezing-cold, hat-gloves-scarf-combo, snow, rain, hot chocolate type of winter that I originally moved to this country for!

I did. I really really did! I come from a sunny and warm (read — stinking hot — ) country and never enjoyed the heat, so my plan of moving here so I never had to worry about a) cooling off, b) getting an even-all-over tan, c) carrying enough wetwipes to ‘freshen up’ or d) not having to shave my legs for at least half the year – well this has not exactly been how it’s played out!

Now where was I?

Ah yes, winter coat.

So early in the morning (there’s a song in that) …. I dragged my thick, triple layer (okay, it’s only a double layer) winter coat on.

Zipped myself in and buttoned up. (yes – the coat has both! — I told you — it is The Winter Coat)

Wrapped my wooly scarf around my neck.


Put my hat with the ‘cute’ little multicoloured pompom on pulling it down over my ears.

Tugged on my ‘warm-enough-to-build-a-snowman-in-the-north-pole’ gloves.

And shuffled to the front door.

After doing what felt like a Teletubby-shuffle the entire walk to the station (okay so it’s less than a 2minute walk – but still), and starting to feel just a little claustrophobic and …. sweaty …. I finally got onto the platform and managed to launch myself onto the train just as the doors were closing!

Train 0 / TheFrinkleFiles 1

I also managed to grab the infamous ‘Last Seat’.

Train 0 / TheFrinkleFiles 2

The claustrophobia threatened to take over if I didn’t get some of the layers off me.


This was made worse by the fact that the train had the heaters blasting out on full power!

Train 1 / TheFrinkleFiles 2

The location of the heater?

Smack, bang, underneath MY seat!

Train 2 / TheFrinkleFiles 2

So there I was. Dressed like a teletubby. Victory smile (from getting the last seat) being quickly wiped off my face (or sliding off from the sweat!), pulling at my clothes to get them off while getting redder and redder in the face! Attractive – I know!

Train 3 / TheFrinkleFiles 2

The hat came off.
The gloves came off.
The scarf came off.
The jacket came off.
The jersey came off.

My legs were still on fire. But there was no way I was gonna remove them. (The trousers …. not the legs … that would be painful!)

So I gently started moving my legs from side to side in the hope that the swift motion would provide some relief from the branding I was getting.

Train 4 / TheFrinkleFiles 2

It didn’t.

It did however, make the men opposite me and next to me tut with disapproval!

If only they knew that I was being branded, I’m sure they wouldv’e been a little more sympathetic.

Or not!

Ah well, at least I’m hoping the heating pumping out onto my legs gave them that all-over-even-tan I used to long for.

It could happen.


Note To Self:
There’s ALWAYS a reason why it’s the Last Seat!!

The first saddest thing about this whole experience?
I had to put everything back on before I left the train station!

The second saddest thing about the experience?
The Train won. This time! But I will be back!