Trip 1

This trip is what really inspired me to start logging these journeys. Why, oh why, oh why, oh why do you sit in the Quiet Carriage if you have children that are of that age where they never stop talking? Ever. I mean two hours of utter meaningless drivel at "outside voice" levels. How parents last a week without smothering their off-spring is beyond me...but if you have these things, why take them on the Quiet Carriage? Seriously? Have parents become immune to the constant wailing of their brats? Some kind of toddler tinnitus where the rest of us hear "Mum, why? Mum, why? Mum, why? Mum, why?" on some insanity producing loop, all they hear are the gentle hums of angels' wings? This is the ultimate case of "I love my children so so must everyone" and "Oh, when they mean no children in the Quiet Carriage they don't mean *my* children". If only I hadn't picked a seat against the direction of travel then at least a train crash would put me out of my misery (pro travel tip there...you have a better chance of surviving a crash if you face against the direction of travel)

Trip 2

Two obnoxious, tan-obsessed, selfie-obsessed, rat-dog-obsessed girls sat at a booth and made and received constant calls while the train was stationary. They seemed to be negotiating the suppression of some scandalous weekend gossip, giving advice that differed depending the current caller's orientation toward the incident. The calls lasted for about half an hour into the journey itself.

Trip 3

Jeremy Kyle must have been filming in the train terminus and his first guests were in the Quiet Carriage. They were committing a litany of sins. Clutching the can of alcohol that seems ubiquitous on the train for many men, from scum bag to city gent (though the city gent often prefers to quaff a small bottle of red that has been decanted into a plastic cup), he spoke to his scum bag wife in that annoying, loud nasal drone that scum bags often emit, bookending every line of drivel with "nah whatta mean?" They also had a child of "that age" who could thankfully only get a word in when her "father" (?) stopped to take a swig of cider. Thankfully they only lasted about three stops, at which point the rightful owners of the seats they were using got onto the train and evicted the whole gang to the gangway.

Trip 4

Nothing too bad...a group of young girls sat at a booth were playing cards in a manner that was far from "quiet", but not unbearable. Not as unbearable as the "tsh tsh tsh" of sub-par bhangra, dancing from the sub-par earphones of an Indian gent across the way. As the train thinned out, the girls left, but the Indian gent was now able to sit next to another Indian gent, and I assumed they were travel companions previously separated by necessity from over-population. Now arranged together, they spoke noisily and made phone calls for the rest of the journey.

Trip 5

A few moments of annoying conversation but all in a fairly quiet ride, apart from a constant buzzing from an electrical box situated between the seats. Nothing worse than a noisy occupant that hasn't even bought a ticket.

Trip 6

London Wanker making calls while in the station, and continued to make them when we started the journey, but they trailed off after a while. A woman two behind had a long conversation with the ticket guard over a situation that is bafflingly common...the issue being that a seat reservation is not a train ticket and does not grant you the right to travel. Why people think it does is quite strange, especially when the rail companies take pains to print on the ticket that this very thing is not allowed. Sadly the guard seemed in no hurry to terminate this conversation, despite being in the Quiet Carriage, to the extent that the lack of quiet escalated to bawls of tears from the woman until the guard finally relented and allowed her to travel. The man in the seat in front of me did not have a valid ticket either, did not have breasts, did not cry, did not continue his journey - not on the Quiet Carriage nor on any other carriage.

Trip 7

As is common, there were a few calls as we were sat in the station. People seem to think the Quiet Carriage is only quiet when the train is in motion despite the stickers on the windows saying no such thing. There are no conditions or exceptions...it is simply "The Quiet Carriage".

Trip 8

The carriage was largely silent, except for one cantankerous old man across the way who insisted on verbally reacting with "oh...god....FFS...shut up" etc every time an announcement came over the PA system, hissing under his fading breath. Alas this was often as we live in an age of near constant alerts...we have to be continually alerted to *something*...be it the upcoming station, suspicious people should be reported, do not transgress the first commandment of globalism: keep your belongings with you at all times, we are running two minutes late due to a technical problem on a previous train making us wait for our slot at Doncaster, or even the fact that there is nothing noteworthy to be alerted about at all.

A few stops in I had a woman take the window seat to my aisle seat. She stored her luggage in the overhead shelving, then sat down and pulled her jumper off which caused the shirt underneath to ride up some distance. The relationship between us of window and aisle seemingly akin to the relationship between girl and gay male friend as she rather unabashedly gave me a sight I pretended not to notice from the pages of my book.

About half way through the journey the train was wholly full, and a woman came on with a kid of....yep, "that age" and sat at the end of the carriage. I was grateful she was at least at the extreme of the carriage, but the Quiet Carriage is absolute, there are no gradients or exceptions. It is the quiet carriage if it is empty and no-one is there to not hear, and it is the Quiet Carriage when brimming full. It is not the Quiet Carriage "unless you can't get a seat anywhere else".

Trip 9

Generally quiet, some chit chat, a few calls were made but not excessively and some people did actually use the vestibule for phone calls.

Trip 10

Two Asian gents around early 20s were sitting across the way, and alas one had "Asian problems". The only person seemingly less interested in his angst than me, was his companion who would, occasionally when he had decided he really should say something, inject a rebuttal which was merely batted away. Our young protagonist was ruing the fact that he had not yet made "manager" yet someone he considered supremely inferior was made manager. I guess that doesn't narrow it down as I got the impression he considered most of the human race to be inferior. It was obvious our non-titular friend was not interested in the financial remuneration that would assist a managerial role, he merely coveted the caste.

The sense of entitlement didn't leave until half way through the journey.

If the train were Japan then who walked on next was Godzilla. Beaten and downtrodden by the psychic vampires that were the children of *all* ages who swarmed her, the woman slumped heavily on a seat. If she were the Empire State Building her children were bi-planes of misery in an horrible scene that none of us could now avoid. More disregard for the Quiet Carriage could not possibly be conceived as her screaming brood were hell bent on finishing her off. Her dying attempt to placate her hyena attackers was to offer them hand-held video games to distract their attention. Video games they gladly took, and played, at full volume! ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES MUST BE TURNED TO SILENT MODE IN THE QUIET CARRIAGE!!!

Trip 11

There were many groups of old people on this journey, which is never good, as the older one gets seemingly the less they feel the rules of society owe them anything. There was not the loud chav talk, or screaming child of "that age" talk, just a crescendo of general disobedience. One of the old dears was at a booth of four...[i]a table spread before me in the presence of those who trouble me[/i]. She glanced at the sticker on the window that was right by her head and offered to the group; "oh, is this the quiet carriage?" I just knew from that second her announcement was not one of instruction, but a declaration that in ignorance all things are fine. This is the woman who, when caught speeding, rolls down her window and says to the officer; "is this a 30? I thought it was a 40?". This is the woman who, when caught taking sweets from the plate says "do you pay for these? I thought they were free samples?". Yes you old bag, this IS the quiet carriage and your ignorance is no excuse. Oh how I raise my eyes in vain.

As well as the old people, a man across from me was eating an apple. Surely it is implicit in the covenant of the Quiet Carriage that you refrain from eating an apple? You might as well play the drums or impersonate Dom Jolly as eat an apple.

Default text message shrills were heard. Phone calls were made and received. This was no Quiet Carriage, this was anarchy.

Trip 12

A woman made several calls for the first half hour of the trip and my sharp sideways glances did nothing to prematurely end them. Given she was using phrases such as "...then I turned around and said to her..." I doubted highly that these calls were in any way essential, and most certainly should have been made in the vestibule.

She calmed down after her initial flurry, however for the entire journey all that could be heard in an otherwise Quiet Carriage was the conversation of a party of four at a booth behind me. They shouldn't have booths in the Quiet Carriage as their sole purpose is to promote social contact, which the rules of the environment forbid. If they insist on keeping the booths they should insist that you can't know anyone else at your booth...or maybe at least remove two of the seats.

Trip 13

Due to a rare mix-up in times I was a cuckoo in this carriage and without reservation. The Quiet Carriage is something people are keen to ruin so there are rarely non-reserved seats, but I took one I could find which was across from the toilet.

In the decades I have been on this planet, I have never once in my entire life needed to go to the toilet during a movie. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have used a toilet on the train, and the majority of those were mainly to relieve boredom rather than my bladder. Why the f**k are there so many people who can't manage their personal affairs such that they can't allocate an hour or two of their day where they won't need to go to the toilet? Streams of people streaming urine. The most amusing being the ones that tug and tug at the "occupied" door, it being seemingly incredulous that another human being on the face of the planet could be as bad at personal management as they are and might actually already be occupying the toilet.

As the carriage filled up, a group of foreigners were split across different seats, which I was glad of. Not because of any racist overtone, but the well established fact that people of a foreign tongue seem to think that because you can't understand them, you can't hear them at all. Alas as the journey went on and the carriage thinned out, they managed to get seats together and the Quiet was, yet again......gone.