April 15, 2008

Trainspotting, by Kevin

Trainspotting is good. A lot of people think that it is boring, but I do not think so. I do not think that it is boring because there are lots of things to see when you are trainspotting. When I go trainspotting, my mother gets me up early, so that Father can give me a lift to the station in the car. He drives an Opel. He works for the Gas Board in Cheltenham and he makes spot checks on the workers "in the field" to make sure they are working. We are proud of him because he contributes to the efficiency of people. My mother is a housewife. My mother makes me a packed lunch because the food in the buffet bars is not nice and costs alot of money and also you can meet some nasty people in the buffet bars. That is why she does not let Paul come with me. Paul is my brother. He is 9.

What you need

To do trainspotting you need a plastic blue anorak with a hood, or a Parka with a woolly hood, because sometimes it rains. Sometimes, if you wear a Parka, people think you are a Mod. Also you should take a packed lunch with you if you like and a notebook which you must keep dry and a pencil to write with. Then you must buy a book that has a list of siding numbers in it, so that you can find out where the train has come from and where it spends the night. Once, in Banbury, we saw an InterCity 225 with a Dumfries number. I like to spot 225s. I think because they are elegant. And because they are fast. My father used to spot trains, when he was younger, but I do not like old trains. They are slow and dirty and not elegant.

Next you must find a station and it is best to stand at the end of the mainline platform because when you are there, the end of the train with the number on it is facing you. I think, for example, you should go on the platform at King’s Cross or Euston, because their trains go a long way, but there are often funny people at King’s Cross. It is also a good idea to go to a station like Tring or Leamington Spa, because mainline trains pass through there alot. Even 225s. At night, we catch the bus home, or even the train, so you would need some money to get home. Unless you have a car.

People say that trainspotting is boring, but I think they are stupid. We do not like doing the silly childish things that the others in the street do, like playing football and cricket, or talking about football and cricket. They are silly games. Also they have parties and kiss girls and some of them even smoke, because they want to be grown up. I think that they don’t know anything.

When you go to do trainspotting, you can go all over the country. I have been almost everywhere with my Dad. It's a shame we spend all day on the platform really. Still, I hope you do trainspotting now I have shown you how good it is. The End.

(Kevin Macpherson is Professor of Applied Social Structure at the University of Macclesfield.)

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Anonymous said...

I have moved beyond trainspotting now. Currently, I am keeping a list of the different colours of mayors' front doors in the West Midlands. You would be surprised how often this needs updating. It's a full time job, which is just as well.

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

The word trainspotting is an odd choice though. It's not like, renowned for their shyness, they only appear at dusk and dawn and even then you have to spend motionless hours in a hide just to catch one of them stirring in the leaves. They're huge. They're thousands of pounds of steel and wheel, for fuck's sake. They're hardly difficult to spot - where's the challenge?

ganching said...

Do you have an email address for Kevin?

prenderghast said...

Hello anonymous--

"Beyond" trainspotting? I'm afraid you've lost me.

Hi Sam--

And yet I've never seen one on the M6! You see, you have to be in the right place at the right time.

Hello Ganching--


But be advised, his mother reads all his email before he does.