OK chums, I’m in Nottyham, overnighting before heading north tomorrow to another of John and Marie’s fabby parties.

For reasons I’ve blogged about before – in summary environment-friendliness, economy (given the Gruntmobile’s rubbish fuel consumption) and the stress of the M40 on a Friday evening – I chose once again to travel by train. Let’s just say I’m glad I reserved a seat: once I’d turfed out the obligatory iPod-wearing Manchester United supporter and explained to him what the “reserved” sign on the seat meant, I could at least sit down for the rest of the journey. I didn’t dare stand up or I’d have lost the seat again, but it didn’t really matter: the aisle was so blocked with rugby players and university students (and their bags of dirty washing) that I couldn’t have gone anywhere anyway.

Something else I’ve blogged about before is the superior humour of Virgin Trains on-board announcements: tonight’s gem was “Now I don’t want to depress you people but we’re just arriving in Basingstoke. This is Basingstoke, but don’t worry, we won’t be here too long.”

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