Taking Stock - January 26, 2015

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Not so long ago I found myself on an adventure to Essex.

I was not, and I make this perfectly clear, looking for an excuse to hang out with anybody from a reality TV programme, no matter how curiously orange they might be.

It was a working trip and because for one thing it is civilised and for another Colchester appears to be closer to Belgium than Blackpool, we took the train.

Pulling into the station a travelling companion, on who I have a good 15 year start, began to look startled.

As the train stopped his expression became one of panic.

‘Where’s the button’ he screamed, fearful he might have to go all the way to Norwich.

I gently eased him out of the way, pulled down the window, leaned out and pushed the handle before engaging my smuggest possible expression and alighting.

My young friend was left speechless - nonplussed by the technology, or rather lack of it.

It’s funny how something which feels so second nature could seem so alien.

I sometimes feel like the missing link between generations, stuck between the young hack unable to work a door handle and my own parents who consider a mobile phone to be an extension of witchcraft.

Still, my pal’s struggle with a train door pales into insignificance when you consider what goes on in some of the more far flung parts of the globe.

Spare a thought for the chap from China who recently boarded his first ever flight.

Seated by a emergency exit he decided things in the cabin were getting a little bit warm.

The only logical thing to do in such circumstances was to let in a little fresh air.

Fortunately the aircraft was still on the ground but the man’s fellow passengers weren’t best pleased

Of course, he’d have had no problem getting off that train in Colchester.

If only he’d kept the window closed long enough to get there.