- Richmond -Kingston – Richmond – 20min each way
Off to do some volunteering as a Citizen Advocate so I headed off to the train.
Things went really very smoothly, except the ‘Goldfish Factor.’ I’m sure you’ve heard told that Goldfish have a really short memory, three seconds is oft quoted. The problem is sometimes so do station staff.
I arrived on platform 1 at Richmond and went to see the dispatcher. This is the guy (it’s almost always male) who sorts the ramp out for me. We exchanged greetings, I told him my intended destination and whilst he phoned ahead I went to wait by the ramp for the 10 minutes until the train arrives.
Sure enough the train arrived on time and disgorged its passengers. With the platform now full I can’t see the guard or dispatcher, and they obviously can’t see me. The figurative coin is in the air spinning. Which side will face up when it eventually lands, which will happen first, clear platform or train depart? In my mind I hear the metallic ‘ting’ of the coin hitting a hard surface, the spinning sound made in all the best movies. No, wait. It’s not in my mind. It’s the embarrassed shouts of a train dispatcher realising his error and running (well, jogging gently) towards the ramp to recover his obvious failure.
The truth is Goldfish can remember things for five months or more, scientists have proved. Maybe we need to employ Goldfish on the railways.