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Tuesday March 18th  2014  Tim Candler

 

     Sometimes in life, it's a big mistake to say that you know how to do something when actually you don't.  Generally it's a sort of impulse that comes over a person when they want to be left alone, and sometimes too it's a roundabout way of relieving someone else of their burden so they stop casting mopish eyes in your direction which can make you feel as though you might belong to the class of potted plant.  Then you find yourself with a London Underground ticket in your hand and in front of you is an escalator which takes you down to who knows where, and certainly you won't know where until you step onto it.  And this is one of those moments when a person thinks about God's guiding hand and he wishes there was something like a Nun within calling distance.  But it's not really that complicated to get from Marylebone Railway Station to Charring Cross Railway Station, even if for ever afterwards you might have the occasional nightmare about getting lost in something resembling the Ruwenzori's only with traffic lights and air horns. And as well, if a person is something like eleven years old and would rather be doing something useful, like minding goats, or chasing birds from the vegetable garden in a part of the world where he doesn't have to wear socks to keep his toes from falling off, he can take on a stubbornness that cause people to give him that kind of wide birth even a Nun would be proud of.  I guess from the observer's point of view, this stubbornness contains a rabid dog quality, but who really cares when you realize that to get from Marylebone Railway Station to Charring Cross Railway Station you don't have to do anything peculiar like change trains.  It's all on the Bakerloo Line, and it's the fifth stop heading south east.

      And I can tell you,  this realization can make you briefly feel like an anointed choir boy, you hear the cherubs sing, until you find that when you are in the bowels of the earth it's tricky to find north. Which can then cause that sort of over reaction that results in a person losing his ability to comprehend the word "southbound."  Southbound is kind of like the change in the hour. A befuddled mind can get wrapped up and confused by it.  It's the "bound" part, I guess.  And I imagine in a perfect society, when people are young they would be tested on their comprehension of the word "southbound," and corrective measures applied sooner rather than before it's far too late. Charring Cross doesn't have just the one or two platforms with the odd diesel electric engine slithering around.  If you compare it to Marylebone, it's kind of the difference between Soroti Railway Station and Karachi 's Cantonment Railway Station.  With Charring Cross being Karachi, Marylebone being Soroti.  And I'll say this, Karachi's Cantonment Railway station has a nicer class of people than you'll find circling around Charring Cross Railway station. And having emerged from the London Underground, a person who might be a little short for his age, can wonder why he didn't take some sort of a note of the Charring Cross platform number he was given, so that he might have a rough idea of where it was he was supposed to meet up with his school train. And if he'd done so a little thing, instead of pretending he had a memory like an Elephant, then for ever afterwards he wouldn't have the occasional nightmare about being some kind of Tufted Duck who couldn't fly being lost in the grass lands of Lake Kioga. (to be continued.....)

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