In the days when I did not suffer from insomnia on trains the way I do now, the nearest railway station to home was Tonbridge, about 45 minutes from London.
The next station after Tonbridge was Ashford, 30 minutes further down the line. This was not theoretical knowledge. I knew it from experience.
It follows that when, one day, I woke up and the train was stationary at Tonbridge, I moved with lightning rapidity. I gathered together bag, coat, books, magazines, whatever, and tumbled with them, in a heap, onto the platform.
I was safe.
I then looked round and realised, one by one, three things.
- I was in London, at Waterloo East station, which looks a lot like Tonbridge.
- But it was all right, I had not leapt off the train 42 minutes too early, because…
- … I was not travelling home from London at all, I was travelling to London from home, for a party.