Removed And Destroyed

31 Dec 2007

King's Cross

Train travel is an incredible luxury compared to the Stansted Shuffle, but we still feel the bite of the security theatre precautions.

Every few minutes a voice over the PA reminds us that if we do not keep our belongings with us at all times, we will be removed and may be destroyed.

Even belongings that aren't ours.

I'd picked up the damn thing on instinct, sleepy and heavily loaded on an escalator and not really seeing it or the person who thought I'd dropped it.

Now with no free hands at all and in possession of a squashed and unappetising bread product in a plastic bag, I'm frustrated to find that St Pancras[1] contains no bins at all. Anywhere. Since we can't find our tour departure point, I have the opportunity to make a thorough survey of the entire station.

When we stop to double-check the trip information, I casually leave it on the floor next to my bag. But when I pick up the bag and walk away, an old lady points it out and I have to thank her and, grumbling, take off with croissant in hand.

We finally abandon it on a table outside a cafe, behind the back of a fluro-vested copper. But we buy takeaway coffees at the same time, and so five minutes later we're back where we started.

Terrorists took my freedom and all I got was a stale croissant and a paper cup.

fn1. Which is not the same as King's Cross. We're not going to talk about that.