The trip into London today was pleasant enough; there were the obligatory visits to the Bar Italia in Soho and the usual bookshops and then there was a little walk up to the LSE and a visit to the bookshop there and the question whether as an ex-student of the school, I get a discount on books and I don’t and the selections in Blackwells and Foyles are better anyway and at least as cheap so I took myself back up to Blackwells, where I bought, “Out of Mao’s Shadow” by Philip Pan and having started to read it on the way home, it looks as if it is going to be a good read and good is not an adjective I can apply to the London transport system and that is a pity because there are times when you are walking about parts of London and thinking that this must be one of the best cities in the world and it might be were it not for the fact that you …. well, you have to get home and on the way home the train didn’t even make it to Raynors Lane where I normally change for Uxbridge but only to South Harrow where we all had to walk down the steps under the tunnel and onto the next platform and wait for a train, which, fortunately, came quite quickly and I would have been happy enough but the train stopped at Hillingdon and we all had to walk down through a tunnel and wait for a bus to Uxbridge. Anyway, I got home, so here I am but living in London for anything more than the few weeks that I am here, don’t think so somehow and, apart from anything else, the prices, oh the prices, my god! Three pounds for the coffee in the Bar Italia and then the return trip, with all that jumping on and off of trains too, cost about eight pounds and really to be honest I don’t know how your working class manages but then I suppose they only jump on and off of trains once in a blue moon, unless, of course, it is necessary to do so to get to work and they won’t be indulging in a cup of cappuccino in the Bar Italia and they read those free newspapers like “London Life” that are distributed in front of all the tube stations and that end up strewn all over the seats on the train. They, your working class, don’t read books, do they?
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