…and there’s a picture of a train…

Every so often I have to stop myself and consider whether I’m odd. This morning was one such example; it’s pretty rare that I have to take a train rather than a tube, but the difference is marked. Not so much in the journey itself (although the novelty of buying real, Olde Worlde paper tickets on Saturday was fun for a good 5 minutes), but from the views you get. I love watching trackside buildings; everything’s a little dirty and grimy, and a little run-down, but it adds a certain charm to one’s commute when you can locate yourself by using actual real-world landmarks (not the misleadingly-placed tube map, or the ever-encroaching evil of the satnav). And best of all, for me at least, you can stand on a frosty morning, as the sun strains against the mist as it tries to haul itself up, looking down the tracks. This I can do for the entire length of time it takes to wait for the train.

Honestly, I can. I can phase out the lurid corporate hues of First Capital Connect at Ally Pally station, and instead focus on the criss-crossing overhead cables, the muted sun beyond, the rampant verges, the overlooking houses. Even better was my former local, New Southgate, whose city-bound line faced South-East, so getting a full panorama of the sunrise over Alexandra Palace. It’s in significant contrast to the faded outpost of the locale after which the station is named, a backwater once significant but whose facilities have all now been drawn East to the Art Deco delights of the Piccadilly line at Arnos Grove. But I still like it.

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