Dear Mark and Sue
Re: 08.06 FGW service from Oxford to Paddington, 11/8/11. Amount of my day wasted: five minutes.
Mark! Sue! Wake up! It's a beautiful morning! Not beautiful in the conventional sense, obviously, in the "bright, sunny, warm" sense. But, you know, it is morning, at least. It's the start of another day in England, and that's not a bad place to begin, is it?
Me and you and you too, Sue: we're young (ish), we're beautiful (ish), we're clever... what's not to celebrate? Let's get up and get at 'em! Let's go to work! Let's not be late for work... oh.
We were doing alright this week, too, weren't we, Mark? (Mark - I know you're on holiday, but I'm still including you here. It seems rude not to. And besides: you'll have your Blackberry, won't you? You'll still be connected. Even supine on a sunlounger, cradling a sangria or kicking back with a San Miguel, I don't doubt for a second that you'll still be getting service updates. I wouldn't expect less!)
As I was saying, we were doing okay this week. We hadn't had a delay for at least a couple of days, had we? I woke up this morning and despite the rain, despite the wind, despite the chill of Autumn in the air, I felt optimistic. I totally did! I felt like we'd turned a corner. Together. All of us, hand in hand in hand (I believe it's called a "crocodile", in pre-school parlance).
And to be fair Mark, to give you your dues, Sue, the delay was only five minutes this morning. It wasn't anything spectacular. It wasn't much to shout about.
But, as Take That so memorably and effectively pointed out, it only takes a minute, Sue, to fall in love. And according to what we shall henceforth refer to as The Barlow Standard, that means that those seemingly-unremarkable 300 seconds could conceivably have resulted in a boy like myself falling in love five times.
Five times! If love is an endless afternoon (and it is, Sue! Oh! It is!) then falling in love five times on one train journey... why that's an eternity of bliss! I cast my eyes around that train carriage, Mark: as we dawdled and dallied, I scoped out and sized up my new potential sweethearts. Five of them! A fistful of loving!
Sadly, Sue, I have to report that I didn't fall in love. Not once. In fact, from my cursory inspection at least, most of the love-interest candidates on the train this morning would have had to fall into the "personality over looks" camp.
Don't get me wrong - that's (kind of) fine. I'm no great swaggering Clooney myself, Sue, as you well know. But I kind of figure that if I'm going to subscribe to The Barlow Standard and fall in love with five girls on one train journey, I'd like at least, say, three of them to be lookers. That sounds fair, doesn't it?
Alas, another disappointment. And the day started so well!
Still - there's always tomorrow, right? And who knows how many minutes you'll be granting me to fall in love with then? I can hardly wait!