Today I have to go to Southampton for a meeting. Luckily, it only involves 2 train journeys, a taxi with minimal walking in between and Mr Mason gives me a lift to the station. As we leave the house at 7.15 all is well and the sun is shining. We climb into the car and suddenly there is an alarm howling. We look at each other. It doesn’t sound like the car alarm and so Mr Mason switches on the ignition. Nothing. Or rather, the noise continues. Thinking it might help, he switches on the windscreen wipers which, strangely, does nothing to quell the noise. He switches the ignition off. We look at each other again. Is it coming from outside, I ask? Mr Mason gets out and gets back in again. “No”. I have to get to the station so I suggest he drives while I look in the manual. This is very much a girl thing to do, I have discovered. I cannot find anything under the index heading of ‘Noises’ nor under ‘Alarm’ which will fit the bill. We arrive at the station and I say goodbye. On getting out of the car, I can hear the alarm blasting away so tell him it is audible outside the car. Mr Mason is busy saying something else without opening the window and I have my train to catch so I wave goodbye and go to the platform. As I climb the stairs to cross the line, I can still hear the alarm and think it really is very noisy and either it is our car driving past or else there is an alarm going off in the station. An alarm going off in the station. I am in the station. I was in the car. The alarm is going off on me. I put my hand in the pocket of my jeans and there is my pedometer with the additional personal alarm which has been unexpectedly triggered. Ah. Not the car alarm, then. Mystery solved. On the train, I call him to ask if he had worked out what the noise was. “No. But it stopped when you got out” which is what he was saying through the window when he dropped me off. I explain it was my pedometer and am then glad to hear he did not take the car straight to the garage for them to dis-assemble it in order to find the now non-existent noise.
I generally enjoy train travel. I either read a book, look out of the window or listen to other people’s conversations. People watching and listening is a great thing to do and today’s journey is no exception. I learn quite quickly that of the two people sitting across the aisle from me and drinking an early afternoon glass of wine, the woman has a husband called Rob whose sister is a real menace and his boss is even worse. The sister, never named but always referred to as ‘she’, is a bit of a pain, by all accounts. They go to stay with her at a holiday home ‘she’ owns abroad and everything is fine until they get in the pool upon which she becomes a screaming banshee and yells and carries on about the mess they are making. It’s an outrage. The boss is always trying to catch him out and asking him about things that are never going to happen. I am not clear what Rob does but it sounds as though he is either a flight steward or a steward on board ship. Probably the former. He knows his stuff, though, and manages to make the boss look foolish with his ridiculous questions and safety scenario. When the tea trolley makes its way through the train they decide on another round of drinks and her complaints get louder and more outlandish. Just before we arrive back in Waterloo, she goes to the toilet and is gone some time. Coming back, we are treated to a blow-by-blow account of how she thought she was locked in the toilet. She says she is a simpleton and, having surprised someone else in the toilet before, made sure she locked the door when she went in but could then not fathom out how to unlock it. Luckily, she manages to convey all this before we pull into the station and they go on their way.
Other people’s conversations are wonderful, as is people watching. I wonder if someone is blogging about the woman who was emitting an alarm, apparently unconcerned?