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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Every man in his station

The Management has finally accepted that attempting to go anywhere at the weekend by car in the South of England is stressful, expensive and laughably slow. Therefore when we want to see friends in Hampshire today we took the train from Waterloo. On days like today this provided a good place to view what Elvis Costello called "London's Brilliant Parade". It was Derby Day and so the punters were gathering on the concourse. There were burly Al Murray-alikes in short sleeved shirts hoisting pints of lager, faintly blowsy young women in high heels that would probably be shed by the third race and the furtive figures of serious racegoers, their pocket seams struggling to contain form books. A very smart hen party was assembling under the clock, each member dressed in a variation on a theme of red and black.

We waited in the queue for tickets. In front of us was a ruddy faced retired gentleman of the shires, resplendent in his town uniform of hounds tooth check jacket and dazzling shoes. In front of him were two loudish Americans who were trying to get to Southampton to join an ocean liner. I turned round and was confronted by an actual toff in full morning attire, top hat included.

Sometimes London doesn't let you down.