Friday, July 06, 2007

Mind the gap ... between our schedule and reality

Waiting at Acton Town station for my Heathrow-bound train to move on, an announcement comes over the wires that we must transfer to the train on the other side of the platform. Two-thirds of the passengers rush across the platform, and then read the interior destination of that train as Ruislip, groan as one, and rush back out onto the platform.
"Please wait while we work out where this train is bound for."

I just put down Jane Gardam's "Old Filth", a biography of a fictional barrister/judge, orphan of the Raj, born in Malaya and bounced between England and Orient throughout his long life. With much fine writing, you feel a strong empathy for the protagonist from the outset. Young Teddy eventually becomes Sir Edward Feathers, with the affectionate Old Filth (Failed In London Try Hong Kong) sobriquet affixed to him as a legend of the Bar. The story is very loosely based on the young life of Rudyard Kipling, although this tale is set from post-WWI until the present day.

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