There’s this kid on the train in the mornings, always there, on the 7.28 from Simla Crescent. Maybe he’s a bit on the aspergers side of life, but he’s ok. A Scot’s boy, always polite, always there to offer a standing adult a seat, his loud monotone booming ‘would you like a seat, sir?’. (No one ever does.) Today, as the ticket collector approached, he started fumbling for his ticket, sure it was in the breast pocket of his red blazer. But no, no ticket. Forgotten, left at home in the rush. But he’s always on this train, and always has a ticket. Everyone knows that, even the ticket man who passed without bothering to ask for the ticket. He’s honest this kid, and wasn’t going to ride without a ticket, so he called the conductor back and paid, hauling his wallet from his trouser pocket and shelling out the change. The ticket man was bemused, but took the money; other passengers were bemused; we all looked away knowing we wouldn’t have done the same.

Three things I hate today…

The guy on the train who always sits down the back and either ostentatiously busies himself with his important business, pausing only to scowl at anyone nearby who dares to talk, or if he’s accompanied by a colleague, spends the entire journey himself talking, clearly oblivious to the hypocrisy.

That’s one, next is iPod users (is iPod generic yet? you know what I mean, people using MP3 players of any description). Again on the oblivion theme, they have no dea what’s going on around them. They’re no longer of this world. Not really a problem I guess until you try to get past one of them in a crowded shop. “Excuse me,” you say politely at first. “Excuse me,” with a little more urgency. Still no result. Perhaps you even say it a third time before – horror – you actually reach out and touch them to get their attention. And then they look horrified, then bewelidered, then somehow surprised that they hadn’t noticed you. “Excuse me, you can’t hear anything so you’re not really aware of where you are, ARE you?” (But you never say that, it’s just an apologetic smile.)

Large umbrellas. I’m not talking golf umbrellas, though they’re bad enough, but today I nearly lost an eye to a Wilson-brand tennis umbrella that was the size of a family tent. So big in fact it had vents to stop it and the bloke attached to it from flying off in the wind. Is rain really so dangerous people need to ensure a 2 to 3 metre clear zone around themselves? Just plain silliness.

That’s it, everything else I like immensely.