As a regular traveller on trains and planes, and mainly in automobiles, it is hardly surprising my involuntary spiritual home is the highly depressing M6 motorway as I make my lonely and often congested commute to work.
Yes, I do some good thinking as I crawl nose to bumper along a stretch of road with little to endear itself apart from the occasional view across Lancashire.
But it is extremely dull.
As a result, I prefer my forays on planes and trains and the rare opportunity indeed to meet a real person happy to chat, to interact, who is not fuelled by 20 cans of lager or away with the fairies.
So it was with some trepidation I politely returned the conversation from the long haired gent, drinking what was clearly not his first wine on the long bendy train which speeds from Scotland to London.
Well spoken and scruffily well-dressed with a pleasant Scouse twang, he was clearly over the boredom of solo travel and ready to socialise.
Being the nosy journo type I am, it didn’t take many questions (where, why, what..) to discover my new friend was not your usual train traveller.
It was when we got to ‘who’ that it was clear I had dropped a massive clanger and in fact should already know.
Embarking on his first train trip for ages (he normally gets driven) my new train friend was none other than Ian McNabb, rocker and lead singer with Icicle Works, making his way home after his latest gig.
Judging by the straining necks, it became immediately clear that every other person on the train knew who he was apart from me so I was quite red-faced.
But he let me off saying I was ‘probably too young’ (I’m sure I’m not) and presenting me with a copy of his latest CD album.
On parting , and following a special brief rendition of Paul Weller’s ‘You do something to me’, he shook my hand.
What a lovely man.
Upon judicious googling, I found my new pal has played with Neil Young and Ringo Starr but was not really that impressed with his train journey so I doubt I’ll be seeing him on there again.
But I will listen to his album..