Saturday November 26, 2005
The Shunter’s bar on the station was a crowded, rowdy place when we got there this morning, being filled with a group of middle-aged working men who’d drunk far more than is normally appropriate in such places and at such times. There may have been some reason, of course, a retirement, say, or some other significant workplace event needing to be celebrated. Even so.
“I hope this lot aren’t going on the same train,” I said.
“So do I. They stop the train if there’s any real trouble.”
“Oh, they don’t look troublesome. Just noisy.”
And then, with no obvious cause, the whole crowd left, heading down the street in the direction of the town centre, leaving the bar almost empty, still smoke-filled, and littered with empty and half-empty glasses. Two young women whisked around the place with trays, clearing tables, and the landlord turned the extractor fans on high. Peace was restored.
“That’s a relief,” I said.
We went over the timetable again, and the things that need to be done back home, and then it was time to say goodbye for the few days when Graham will be in Somerset.
“It’s too cold to stand waiting on the platform,” he said. “Get yourself off home.”
“You’re right. ‘Bye.”
And off I trudged through the rain, not really downcast, not much, anyway. We’re getting used to this once more. Even Dolly the Mega-Cat is getting used to it and, after a moment of outrage when she realized one of her humans was missing, she switched over to one-man-and-a-cat mode without further complaint.
I stacked the fridge with the stuff I’d grabbed in Tesco’s on my way past, cleared the bags away, and put coffee on to filter.
“I think we’ll have a quiet few days while we’re on our own, Dolly,” I said, standing by the window in the study with my coffee in my hand. “It doesn’t look nice out there. All cold, grey and wet, it is.”
Dolly made no reply. Quiet fell over the house. I sat down at my desk to work at a poem. Pleasurable enough. Just quiet, is all.