Feb. 19th, 2010

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Anyone who listened to the start of Chris Moyles this morning will have heard him and the team takling about Tory MP Sir Nicholas Winterton, who has been grumbling that MPs may no longer be entitled to travel in first class accommodation on the trains and may instead get lumped in with second class passengers. According to Sir Nicholas, standard class passengers are "a totally different type of people." Also, "There's lots of children, there's noise, there's activity."

Now, it's not often I agree with politicians but OMG he's so right! I HATE travelling in standard class on the train! It's an awful experience. I always seem to end up crammed into narrow seats (if I'm lucky enough to get a seat, that is) and more often than not I find myself surrounded by a family of chavs who spend the entire journey either effing and jeffing (usually, but not always, the parents) or throwing temper tantrums (usually, but not always, the children). And then, if I dare to turn my iPod up slightly to drown out the insufferable noise, some interfering old busybody comes and taps me on the shoulder and asks me to turn it down! And also, it's impossible to write smut because someone will always be sat beside me and I just know they're going to be peering over my shoulder to see what I'm writing, and if my netbook is small enough without reducing the zoom or the font size any further.

I like travelling by train, don't get me wrong. But when I'm doing so, I like to be able to listen to my music quietly, and to write or to read, or even just to be left alone with my thoughts. I don't like being surrounded by unruly people or to have to put up with copious amounts of children running up and down the aisles, jostling my seat and generally causing a disturbance.

I realise that all of the above makes me sound like a very intolerant person but actually I should fess up and admit that that's just what I am. I'm incredibly intolerant and exceedingly selfish and I always want to have everything (public transport included) on my own terms. I want to be able to seat in peace and quiet or to listen to chill out stuff on my iPod with the volume down low. I don't want to have to pretend it's funny when the "darling" child across the way decides to mash a bar of chocolate over their face instead of eating it. I don't want to make polite conversation with the person who's sat themselves next to me and is trying to read my fic over my shoulder. I just don't want it.

Which is why I love sitting up in first class.

And which is why I completely, 100% agree with Sir Nicholas Winterton on this topic.

In fact, I salute him.



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