I’ve been reading Andrew Marr’s short history of British Journalism called ‘My Trade’. I once considered an alternative career as a journalist, but not very hard and if Marr’s descriptions of the trade are anything to go by I don’t drink enough by half and I don’t seem to have the nose for hard news. I would probably write the ‘Strangely Enough’ stories because those are the ones that interest me: the Japanese man on a motorcycle who hit the central reservation and drove on for a while missing the lower half of his leg without realising, or the other motorcyclist who popped in to see his girlfriend for five minutes and came out two hours later to discover that his prosthetic hand that he had left attached to the bike had been stolen.
Or maybe I would write a diary column, but not about the rich and famous, but the everyday and mundane such as the guy whose sense of dress was so poor that he fully distracted me from reading anymore of ‘My Trade’. There I was clutching onto the bar to stop myself staggering all over the train when over the top of it I espied a melange of colours that surely should never be seen together: dark blue with orange pinstripes. It was so shocking that I soon realised that it was responsible for the fact that I kept losing my place on the page. I kept the book there so I could hide the fact that my jaw was falling lower and lower, but he must have seen my eyes grow to saucers when I spotted the vertically striped shirt in varying shades of pink and grey. The silver tie that lay on top of it was yet another colour to add to the bizarre palette. I wondered if I should say something, but thankfully tact intervened and told me that a mere foreigner should never give a French man fashion tips, even if his wardrobe is visually disturbing, his ego may never recover.
And the Scottish fans arrived. Although I somehow missed them and in fact had no idea that there was a French/Scotland Euro 2008 qualifying match, I have carefully reconstructed this story from eyewitness accounts. My contact on Tuesday’s Eurostar confirms that the fans were as pissed as farts even as they travelled over to
Lastly was the