>Early start

>I’m on the early train tomorrow, heading North to Birmingham for the day. I’ve managed to avoid a lot of this commuting for the past few weeks by working from home. However, the semester-time routine is about to re-establish itself and I have to acclimatise to hours on the train again.

I never find it easy to work on the train – it’s meant to be an adventure isn’t it? Being brought up in a Beeching-created railway wasteland meant that a rail trip was a rare treat: something to be savoured rather than suffered. Part of me is still stuck back there. I have the faintest recollection of steam trains in service, and for a brief period in my teens I was a trainspotter (see the above reference to Beeching-created wasteland to understand the briefness of the obsession). I want (half expect) to be amazed by the train, taken somewhere new, shown new worlds – not at all the proper commuter’s mindset.

At least I get a coffee and a croissant at New Street Station before catching my connection to Perry Barr (a small treat, but a milestone in the day). I’ll take some reading, but I doubt it will stick.