The older I get the more constantly aware I seem to find myself in most situations. “Switching off” gets increasingly difficult and I am not too bothered. I am currently on a train after filming some bits for a DVD in Cardiff. As a pointless exercise, I noted down all the things that I noticed I had thought in the previous minute or so.
A few minutes ago I was on the Cardiff Central to Portsmouth train. It wasn’t my first choice, but the 11.25 to Paddington had been cancelled due to a fatality, so alternatives were sought. As I was leaning by the door, opposite a big, friendly man who had offered us standing rabble a crisp, and had one of those moments where you become excessively aware of everything of what your mind is conscious of.
We were passing through the countryside outside Newport when
In the ensuing minute
I noticed how purple the door was which made me aware of the variety of colours all round me, each one being conjured in my mind, from the nostalgic red of the tractor, to the blueish tint of the train’s vestibule area and the blackness of the rubber trim securing the window.
The windows were dirty.
I thought of how, with no seeming internal effort, the “No smoking” sign was immediately interpreted.
There was a smell of cheese and onion crisps still present
I worried that the man opposite me, friendly as he was, may now talk to me as I had put the John Arlott book I was reading to my side.
What was the man on the fold down seat listening to on his iPod, had he put in his earphones to ensure no uninvited socializing.
I was aware one of my fly buttons is undone, and aware that I might do nothing about it because it was barely noticeable and I would get around to it a little later (I just did now)
Who scratched KNOH into the paint of the train door…pointless
All the sentences around me on door use and safety information were thoughtlessly readable (I know I am being loose with the word thoughtlessly)
Why did the man opposite have a stick? A knee injury?
A slight smell of some brake lubricant heating perhaps
Why did my throat have a vague sense of swelling, more awre of it than on other days, a feeling of dried cotton wool around my tonsils and very fine sandpaper under my tongue.
There’s an old Woolworth superstore still unsold on a retail park. How long ago did they fold?
Maybe I’ll quickly write down these thoughts in the back of this Pelican.
Is the way that man fleetingly looked at me suggesting he thinks, ‘what is he writing and why?”
Approaching a station, I am nearest the door so I’ll take charge of pressing open. What if, with all these people around me waiting to get off, I decide not to press “open”
What does the voice if my inner monologue soundly, the words are there and constant, but I can’t quite make out the voice itself.
And then I thought about ink, and the ease of writing all this down and whether I would type it out and put it in a blog post.
And I did.
DVD – my old DVD is still available here Two new releases coming soon plus None Lessons and carols DVDs
TOUR – to Norwich next, then Exeter, Lincoln, Oxford, Cardiff and many more. also Angry show – all dates here