A Body on the Line

I ventured south yesterday. A fleeting visit. More fleeting than intended, in fact. I was supposed to arrive in time for lunch with my editor and agent, which I was looking forward to, but my train was cancelled. As was the one before and the one after it. I did eventually catch a train and ended up standing in the buffet car along with many of the other (mostly) good natured passengers without seats.

When I arrived in London, I then raced over to Orion House smelling like bacon sandwiches. I missed lunch, but my lovely editor organised something else and then told me how great The Child Thief is, so it’s all good.

Apparently a man’s body was discovered in a disused station on the line.

That’s why I missed lunch.

Someone died.

It was inconvenient for me, but it wasn’t the end of the world and . . . y’know, we’re talking about a body, not leaves on the track. If we can’t stop our endless rush rush rush for that, then there’s no hope for any of us, is there?

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6 thoughts on “A Body on the Line

  1. How tragic. These things do somehow bring life back into perspective don’t they? Glad you got there eventually though and fab that your editor is so happy with The Child Thief – hooray!

  2. You’re spot on, Dan – it’s frustrating to get delayed, but when you compare that to how the family of that person must be feeling…

    Really glad your visit went well and that Orion like The Child Thief so much. It is brilliant, after all! 🙂

  3. Living in the Big Smoke and rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi in the ratrace every day, I’m guilty of some of that insensitivity. Whenever I hear “This is a passenger announcement… the Circle, Hammersmith, Bakerloo and Victoria lines are suffering severe delays due to a ‘person on the line'”, my initial reaction is always that twinge of frustration and disappointment that my commute will once again become that much longer. I can’t help it. It becomes so commonplace that one becomes inured to it.

    And what a crap euphemism “person on the line”. It reminds me of what we used to do at school. Call up the operator and say “Hello? Operator? Are you on the line?” and when we got the “Yes, how can I help you?” we’d barely be able to stifle our laughter as we told them “Well you better get off then. There’s a train coming.”

    Ahh, how those winter terms flew by.

    • Oh yeah, I remember doing that. Childish I know, but it was fun . . .

      I can imagine how frustrating it must be, though, being delayed so frequently. Actually, on the way back there were delays on the tube due to . . . a body on the track. Not on my line that time though.

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