Sunday, 6 March 2011

Notes from Overground.

Just started reading Notes from Overground by Tiresias (a psuedonym for Roger Green). These are jottings from a long period of commuting by train from Oxford to London. The book was published in 1984 and I believe is now out of print. It was highly recommended, and rightly so, on Joe Morans's blog. This might give a flavour;

Unexplained delay at Didcot. (Nothing abnormal about that). At last, two uniformed soldiers boarded the train. Handcuffed to one of them a pugnacious-looking, close cropped, bedenimmed youth. Train moves off. Law-abiding commuters look variously annoyed, smug, curious, compassionate indifferent. We should not. And therefore never send to know. Casual travellers do not notice our handcuffs. Few of us sense the bracelets round our own wrists. But they are there, along with the uniformed escort. There, too, rigid rails and sharp ballast: iron bars and stone walls which do make a prison and a cage. Man is born free and is everywhere in trains.  

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