A film related discovery

or, Why I hate Marylebone station – a series of frustrations (not actually all the fault of the station)

(DISCLAIMER: Despite being filed as a ‘film related ramble’ the reader is cautioned that the operative word in this case is ‘ramble’, rather than ‘film’).

After a wonderful (and largely dry) holiday in Cornwall, Marylebone station was the last place I wanted to be killing time.

Rather than watching seconds while away one by one on the station clock – even worse than watching paint dry as you are ever aware of just how slowly time is passing – I decided that now I’d rejoined the land of mobile phone reception I could no longer get by on 7p credit.

In this technological age, I’m sure you know, one of the many options available to those of us still slumming on Pay As You Go is to call an automated number and top-up by card. Quelle avantage. Or that’s what they’d have you believe.

What they don’t tell you (although in retrospect it’s rather obvious) is that the automated voice is utterly incapable of understanding you from a crowded station concourse. Figures. Ridiculously, however, it also took Orange two attempts to comprehend my card number when I typed it. Impeccably. Only then did they tell me that the database was down, so they could not check that I own my card. Because my first thought if possessing a stolen debit card would of course be to put a nifty £10 on my phone.

Not yet too annoyed, I popped into M&S casually dragging along my week’s worth of dirty clothes and squashed Cornish cheese in the world’s crappest suitcase. It turned out M&S do not sell phone top-ups. What?! In the age of modern convenience? PAYG must not be middle class enough for them. Instead I got to enjoy the shame of struggling to wheel the aforementioned suitcase through an aisle approximately 1 inch wider than it. What a stupid design for a station.

Next up it was time to empty my female bladder, an urge already infuriating in its frequency. At least this is usually free of charge, but not at stations of course. Thirty pence to experience habitual lack of cleanliness in a public toilet. In the world of WCs price and hygiene are negatively correlated.

On my way to buy an overpriced bottle of water I first checked the magazine racks for a new edition of Empire. As often irks me, it was filed under ‘MEN’S LIFESTYLE’. I had entered a domain of sexism as well as artificial inflation. While I moderately fumed, my eyes were drawn to another film magazine. One with a dramatically feminine cover. An awesome cover. And an awesome feature on the upcoming adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beat novel On the Road. So here was the silver lining to my cloud of station frustration.

Click here for my review of On the Road.


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