The journey home today was, on the whole, OK. Both trains were clean and well-maintained, and on time. Neither train was overcrowded. The standard of train buffets seems to have deteriorated since the 1980s, but the major improvement of having ridded them of smokers more than makes up for that.
Going via London, I have one long journey leg: three and a half hours from Paddington to Plymouth. As on any FGW intercity train, I headed straight for the quiet carriage: the one where mobile phones and personal stereos are banned. I even got one of the end-of-carriage seats with extra legroom (have to give them up if a disabled passenger needs them, but that seldom happens). There I got out the laptop to do some work in peace and quiet.
But there’s always some flaw. This time it came in the form of the noisiest brat and most useless mother I’ve encountered in a long time. They were in the middle of the carriage, but dominated the whole of it. So, no quiet carriage:-(
So, dear, lazyweb, what the **** can one do about that? As with smokers, it only takes one **** to ruin it for everyone. Apart from move to another carriage, where the big fella with the personal stereo and the bunch of teenage girls constantly texting and playing ringtones are entirely within their rights to do so?
Fortunately, coach C (or was it D?) was rather better, with nothing too bad going on, and where the (only) small sprog was a delightful contrast to the noisy brat. But no extra-legroom seat:-(