Travelling on the train from London to Colchester at the weekend, I had an unusual moment of bonding with my fellow passengers. Not because we talked to each other town mice don’t do that sort of thing. No, it was because I was able to share in their lives by virtue of being forced to hear their mobile phone conversations. The woman sitting opposite me described to two or three friends the job interview that she had just had she’s interested, apparently, even though there’s a lot of admininvolved, but the company seems very organised. Still, she wasn’t sure that she was really what they were after (and if they’re after discretion, I would suggest, she’s certainly not).
But the real moment came at the end of a young man’s lengthy description to a friend of all his planned interior decoration and building works, as well as the character references of his future flatmates. He finished the conversation by saying into his hands free set, with some force: ‘But, look, don’t tell anyone about this, yeah?’ The rest of us couldn’t help but smile to each other at this. And that’s how town mice bond with strangers.