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I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Strangers on a train

Have you ever seen someone on a train...and wished you`d said something?

I`m damn sure I saw the director Jonathan Miller on the Northern Line yesterday. Or maybe it was because I`d just seen a picture of him in the new Bailey`s Stardust photography exhibition and *thought* it was him.

I often sit on trains and wish I had the courage to start a conversation. Yeh, ok, sometimes it might be : `Get your bloody boots off that seat `. But it might be that you just really like their scarf or something. Or find that you`re both screwing up your noses at the torrential rain hammering against the window. Maybe they look a bit sad and lonely, and you want to ask what`s wrong.

It`s tricky, isn`t it? They might think you`re completely bonkers. (Though, frankly, if I found myself on the 7.39 and David Morrissey was across the table from me, I might just take a punt).

Is it a `British` thing? Do we worry that, once we start the conversation, it`ll be like removing the Pringles *POP*...and they just won`t stop? See--the thing is--they could be lovely. A friend for the future, maybe. A soulmate, even. Someone with a really interesting story to share.

Either way, it`s too late now. But maybe there should be just one day a year where you can deliver a one-liner to someone on the train without worrying about whether it`ll be met with tears, a three hour monologue, or a smack in the teeth. And of have to be ready for the one-liners you`re going to get back.

So OK...let`s pretend that day was yesterday, in London, on the two Tube trains I travelled on, or the mainline trains back home.

1) To the gorgeous four year old girl sitting next to me on the Northern Line in a tartan coat, with a McDonald`s Happy Meal: "I`m starving. I know I`m a complete stranger and you`re not allowed to talk to me...but your mum`s not looking. So can I nick a chip? "

2) To `Jonathan Miller` at Euston underground: (I`m SURE it was him): "Hello. Blimey; you`re Jonathan Miller, aren`t you? I`ve just seen a great picture of you in the Bailey exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Did you like it, too? How great does it feel to be up on the wall with so many other famous faces? you mind people coming up to you on the platform and asking you questions? "

3) To the very sleepy bloke on the train somewhere near Goodge Street, with a backpack and a Sombrero: "What`s that for, then? It`s pissing down outside. Hold up--you`re not just back from Mexico or something, are you? Tell me you didn`t buy that as a gift..."

4) To the parents of three kids travelling from Euston: "Sounds like you`ve had a brilliant weekend. You look knackered. Has your little lad been playing up a bit? You`re really worrying about what other passengers think. But he looks so bright and lively.And some of his comments have really brightened my journey. You look like a lovely family "

5) To the young woman with an orange coat. "Please, please...for the love of God, stop sniffing."

OK. *Adopts brace position *. Your turn.

Happy travelling :)


I once asked a crowd of rowdy Irish rugby fans for a can of their lager. 👍

My brother met his wife after speaking to her on a train so you never know what might happen!

I'm always wishing I'd said something. One should of grown out of being shy at my age surely ?!!

": Strangers on a train. Ever wish you'd said hello? "

 and  retweeted you

": Strangers on a train. Ever wish you'd said hello? " Great blog really enjoyed reading this & others

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