277. Stuck in the middle with you …

Can you hear me, mother? Have to keep the noise down: I find myself at the centre of a supersize game of Sardines. If anyone else twigs that we’re here and tries to join us, the density levels may prove fatal.

Heading home after a brilliant week in Yorkshire with DearHeart. Yesterday we went to Scarborough, who was looking her very best with the summer crowds gone home and the sun shining.

Ouch! The lady in the aisle next to me, has just clumped me on the head with her rucksack, while squashing over so that a grandma and baby can get past. Not her fault but I give my suitcase – also jammed in the aisle – a smidgeon of a shove, just to register a protest.

Thing is, my original train was taken out of service at Hull because of a blocked loo. So there’s two trains’ worth of us squashed into here, Doncaster bound.

Right everyone: heads down, thumbs up and schtum – we’re pulling into Brough.

DearHeart had got tickets for a matinée of Joking Apart at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. It was directed by Ayckbourn himself and was absolutely hilarious.

It just happened that this was a ‘relaxed’ performance, which I’ve heard about but never actually experienced. So the show started with a friendly chap introducing the cast, a couple at a time, and the actors then explained which characters they were playing. FriendlyChap then set the scene for the first act, warned us there would be firework noises and bonfire smoke; then we had a quick sample of each.

This only took a few minutes but, I imagine, could make such a difference to some people’s enjoyment of the play. As, I’m sure, given that we were a fairly elderly bunch, did the clear caption display board.

Sometimes, with the big things making so much noise – Brexit and Boris and Trump – it feels that we’re going to hell in a handcart. But it struck me yesterday that so many people are making thoughtful, quiet actions to improve life for others. I’m certainly guilty of losing track of this amid all the bluster….

Talking of quiet, we’re about to pull into the next station: the last before Doncaster. So, sardines, as silent as you can; hold your breath and let’s hope we can slip past Goole without being further squashed by the Goolies.

Have a good week, everyone.

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