This blog is not called Glen’s Life for nothing, I might wander off in my thoughts now and again, but usually it is only a matter of time before something happens to bring me back to me.
Some of you may remember last summer, when I wrote part one of Glen's Life in a nutshell; if not then you should go and check it out, even if only for the photo of Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt getting friendly. Part 2 may be missing in the celebrity undressing department but it still tells you everything you ever need to know about me.
Take last Tuesday evening, for example…
I rucked and mauled my way through the usual Paddington stampede to board my train home, desperate for a seat after a long day sitting at a desk. In an age of miracles, it still surprised me that I found and claimed a seat in only the second carriage that I walked through.
A man was sitting in the window seat but I paid this fact no heed, it was surely not going to make any difference to my journey. What possible blog post could be born from the line, “A man was sitting in the window seat”?
My next task was to find some space for my bag and coat in the luggage rack above. As usual, the fact that I’d boarded the train some fifteen seconds after it was announced meant that I was twenty seconds too late. The luggage rack was jammed. Except for the one space – barely wide enough for my bag – but maybe…
I managed to widen the gap enough, and lifted my bag into place.
My bag was a bit full, so it was a little fatter than usual and I just couldn’t seem to push it in. I pushed harder. I patted it down. I took a run up and heaved. The bag just didn’t seem to want to go in properly. I lifted it out and jabbed it back in.
Suddenly the man in the window seat joined the story.
“It won’t squash down any further! Just leave it will you?” His critical and overly annoyed tone surprised me. I can understand that having someone almost leaning over you, trying to sort their bag out when you are trying to get comfy is mildly annoying, but I wasn’t actually touching him, I wasn’t doing anything that bad.
“I’ll decide” I firmly replied – determined to prove him wrong. How dare he tell me what I can do with my bag?
He mumbled something under his breath as I continued to ram and jab my bag about but I missed the actual words. Eventually, though, I had to concede that the bag was too big and pulled it back down between my knees to the sound of an enormous huff and a seemingly smug “Utterly ridiculous”.
I huffed right back and made a big show of putting my earphones in to block him out and claiming the middle armrest for myself – the height of commuter indulgence. Well he had to learn that he can’t go around butting into other people’s luggage arrangements. Hogging the middle armrest may sound a step too far to you, but I thought the situation called for strong measures. I’m not afraid to make a point.
Then we arrived at Reading.
A rather miffed sounding voice asked to be excused so that he could get out and off the train. So, because I’m not an animal, I got up.
As the man stood up, he fixed me with a stare, reached up and took his soft, leather briefcase down from the gap.
I hadn’t seen it at all, but his bag was already there all the time. When he was getting cross and telling me that it wouldn’t squash down any more, he wasn’t criticising my luggage rack technique at all, he was just fed of me wrecking his paperwork.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough, I’d then forced myself into his half of the armrest.
The man walked briskly away, carefully rifling through his briefcase looking for damage and I attempted to hide, using a modern take on the Ostrich theory of camouflage. With music in your ears and your eyes firmly fixed onto your laptop screen – no one can see you. Fact.
This is Glen’s Life. It’s what I do.