I had the opportunity yesterday to dine in a very swanky restaurant in the heart of London overlooking Hyde Park.
The comfort and elegance of the meal was in stark contrast to the journey home afterwards.
A combination of the Easter weekend, people knocking off early from work and an ill-timed rail strike meant that travellers on the London to Brighton train were packed in like sardines.
It was a journey of three parts. For the first third of the journey, from London to East Croyden, I was standing the whole time.
From East Croyden to Gatwick, I was able to sit down and even sleep with my head titled at a 45 degree angle on Jessica’s shoulder.
The last part of the journey was the worst.
The woman who got on at Gatwick and sat next to me was more fidgety than a child. She pulled out a hardback book of such dimensions that each turn of the page was accompanied by a poke of her elbow into my ribs.
Also, she coughed at fairly regular intervals. Worringly, none of these coughs were accompanied by a poke of her elbow. Ergo, she was not raising her hand to cover her mouth when she coughed.
She was coughing into the shared air of the train compartment. She had a suitcase with her. She boarded the train at Gatwick airport.
With my luck, she had just arrived back from a holiday in Hong Kong.