Sometimes, when I'm on my way home from work, feeling tired, weary and occasionally troubled, I look longingly at a green GWR train to Reading that always seems to be sitting on the platform awaiting a green light. Often I arrive in time to see the driver exit the rear of the train and make his way to the front and then I get the chance to take a peek into the driver's cab and imagine myself sitting there on the comfortable seat, driving the train.
As the train's diesel engine ticks over I find myself drawn to the First Class carriage – or rather the rear of the carriage that is given over to First Class ticket holders. I'm not a First Class ticket holder for one reason: I don't believe that the addition of a white napkin on the back of a seat warrants additional spend.
But putting class aside, all I'm seeking out is comfort and peace. Not First Class comfort and peace. I peer into the coach and imagine myself sitting in the seat at the rear of the carriage, having already purchased a half bottle of decent red wine, a plastic cup, a decent sandwich, possibly a cake or a pastry and an insulated paper cup of tea with the milk already added – and the teabag left in.
The rest is simple: the train embarks upon it's journey to Reading, once on the move I have a glass or two of wine and a nibble of the sandwich, a bite of the cake, and I just sit back, look out of the window and chill out. To be honest, I rather hope that the train never stops and just keeps going, but I know that sooner or later it will arrive at Reading and I will disembark, slightly bleary-eyed and wishing I was closer to home.
It could, of course, all go wrong. Should I ever take the train I'm likely to do so on impulse, meaning I won't have a valid ticket. Having consumed the wine I might be approached by an inspector who might threaten a penalty fare. I might get shirty. Alcohol is involved. I might find myself ejected from the train at an obscure station, like North Camp, where I might be met by the transport police. It could all get very nasty and I might end up spending the night at Her Majesty's Pleasure somewhere in the Reading area. Oh dear!