Fiddling with his bags

I got on the train at Mistley and immediately had to get past this one man coming from Harwich, about 40, who was fiddling with his bags by the rack. (He looked just like Dominic Sandbrook.) I knew he’d been to the Netherlands – he had a brochure about Friesland in his see-through container – and that I’d talk to him. He had so many bags…

He said that he’s been to the Netherlands to see a woman who had multiple sclerosis. He liked to ride a bicycle; he had a chair which you attached to the bike and he would cycle around with his companion in tow. He never looked at me while he was talking.

The train went to Cambridge and I asked if that was where he was going. Yes, he said.

I said that the last time I’d been in Cambridge I’d stayed at the Youth Hostel with my wife and three sons. He knew it well, and volunteered that it was comparatively small and out-of-centre for such a well-known tourist destination. I concurred, citing the Oxford YHA as an example of a new, large hostel which did the business. He agreed.

We could have talked all the way to Cambridge, but Ipswich and its hospital arrived, and I had to get off…


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I had a stroke on July 26th, 2013. I was a screenwriter. Don’t do that anymore. But have found another way to write.

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