Write on Trains, Make New Friends

It Worked Again – 10 March 2018
It so often happens, especially on busy trains. And this train, the Friday 1249 from Leeds to Carlisle that goes along the purportedly picturesque and spectacular Settle and Carlisle line, was certainly busy, people were standing for part of the journey especially from Shipley. It’s only a little train, two carriages long, but I think the authorities haven’t yet woken up to the fact that trains in the north of England increasingly struggle with capacity. But by getting on briskly I found a seat by the window, a young woman came and sat by me, and I started catching up on my diary, I decided to write in my book diary rather than my electronic diary as the train was so packed with people and bags that I’d have had trouble getting the iPad out of my bag.
‘May I ask what you are writing?’, asked the young woman. So I told her, and that started a conversation that lasted until I got off the train at Garsdale some hour and a half later. The young woman was, she told me, an apprentice digital journalist with the BBC, currently assigned to BBC Radio Cumbria in Carlisle, she’d been in Leeds all week on a work assignment. A digital journalist essentially makes videos, that then form part of news stories on the BBC’s web pages, and Facebook and Twitter pages. She was, I guess, about 22-years-old.
So we had this bizarre situation of a 72-year-old geezer with a cut on his forehead (no idea how that happened) and a 22-year-young woman with false eyelashes, a sweaty nose, and a dream of becoming a presenter on Blue Peter (for I asked her about her dreams, though not about her nose or eyelashes) showing each other pictures and videos on their technologies, for by this time I had scrabbled about and fished my iPad out of my bag. And discussing photo-processing and video-processing techniques, among other things. I wondered what the people in the seats in front of us, who must have been able to hear what we were saying, thought about this. Not much, I think, by what I could see of their body language.
We exchanged blog addresses, but the address she gave me doesn’t work. I should have tried it while we were talking. So I don’t know what her name is. Not that it matters, the hour and a half was most interesting and stimulating, for me at any rate, and as a result I have resolved to do more work with videos. Vids are the future, my travelling companion tells me, for almost everything that you see, moves.


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