Of coffee and commuters
I was in Starbucks yesterday, buying my usual grande skinny latte, when it occurred to me that what I was about to drink precisely fulfilled Tony Hancock's specification in The Rebel, when he goes into one of the new-fangled espresso bars and asks for a white coffee. Offered a cappucino he says OK, but he wants one with no froth. "A cappucino with no froth?" says the waitress, "But we've just spent hundreds of quid on froth-making equipment." Anyway, as I drank my cappucino-without-froth, I thought of the film's wonderful opening sequence, filmed at the now-closed Bingham Road Halt. When I first moved to London I was amazed that the trains arrived (almost always) punctually to within the minute. my previous experience of trains (around Manchester, or in Yorkshire or North-East England) had done nothing to prepare me for timetables which were actually followed. Anyway, that rendered the Hancock gag comprehensible, and I often thought of it when I was alone on a platform opposite a crowd going the other way.