Our newest series of monthly articles invites readers to send in light-hearted stories of their travel experiences.
It’s twenty to seven in the morning and I’m standing on platform 2 at Ipswich station. The mainline London train always departs from platform 2, so that’s another piece of information that doesn’t need to be given a second thought at such an ungodly hour. Included in this stored & locked mind box, is the fact that my car park season ticket is valid, as is my Ipswich to London Liverpool Street season ticket. This means that the short drive from my home to the station is in mind cruise control, as is the short walk from car park level 2 to the exact spot that I am standing on now. And I mean exact spot. Oh yes, I have joined the CPPC. The what?…The Commuter Platform Positioning Club. An exclusive club; for those who travel so often that they know exactly where their chosen train carriage will stop and not only that, but exactly where & when the door to the chosen carriage will be exactly opposite their cold & tired, southbound body. Although it’s an exclusive club, there are still enough members to ensure that at least one other commuter on the 06.44 is surreptitiously jostling for space to be first on the train and gain a slight advantage over seat choice.
So, the 06.44 pulls in at 06.47 (standard), two passengers alight from my door and I swerve ever so gently right, to ensure my foot reaches the carriage step just before my latest nemesis engages his brain (I should point out at this juncture, that if a female member of the CPPC is present at this moment then annoyingly, the well-brought up gentleman in me takes over and said lady is given CPPC privileges).
I find a seat and this particular morning I get my first choice of forward-facing, window seat at a table. This is the holy grail of train seats and even a mature lady staging her coat, bag and laptop in such a way as to stave off seat-suitors, does not deter me from politely asking if anyone is “sitting there?”. The expected tut and grimace is so anticipated that I stifle a laugh and position myself accordingly. I open my newspaper, place my iPhone on the table and settle in for the next 1 hour & 14 minutes.