Life So that's Bolton polished off and Blackburn actually but I'm far too tired to write that up tonight having walked around the place for hours today. There are three other things I wanted to say about the visit to Bolton though, which I couldn't shoehorn into yesterday's agenda:

One I actually had to think about the destination when I bought a train ticket that morning. That's because of the way I first heard about Bolton a few decades ago:
"C: I understand this IS Bolton.
O: (still with the fake mustache) Yes?
C: You told me it was Ipswitch!
O: ...It was a pun.
C: (pause) A PUN?!?
O: No, no...not a pun...What's that thing that spells the same backwards as forwards?
C: (Long pause) A palindrome...?
O: Yeah, that's it!
C: It's not a palindrome! The palindrome of "Bolton" would be "Notlob"!! It don't work!!
O: Well, what do you want?
C: I'm not prepared to pursue my line of inquiry any longer as I think this is getting too silly!
Sergeant-Major: Quite agree, quite agree, too silly, far too silly..."
Which is obviously the tail end of Monty Python's the Parrot Sketch. I've been calling it Notlob ever since, even after it had long since stopped being amusing and became a habit. So took everything not to say it to the rail employee as well. It's pleasing to see that the sketch gets due attention on Bolton's Wikipedia page.

Two There was a really nice Laura Knight painting called either The Mirror or Lady At Her Dressing Table, which is an incredibly sensual impressionistic work in which the yellow glow of a light reflects from a mirror onto a woman's face as she made herself up for the evening. If I had to interpret her emotion it was one of having to fulfill an obligation as though she doesn't have choice in how she spends the evening. There is a thorough website dedicate to Knight, with thumbnail examples of her work, though sadly not that one. The image of the Ballet is one which I've had on my wall for years.

Three On mistakingly sitting down in the first class compartment on the train home from Bolton, I found radio's Stuart Maconie sitting almost opposite. He was tapping away on a laptop, presumably his column for the Radio Times. He smiled at me, presumably the same smile he uses when he realises people are looking at him who've clearly recognised who he is but don't want to say. When the ticket person came through I asked if First Class was actually in use (which it wasn't on the journey there) and she said no. As I got up to move, Maconie frowned at me. I'd garnered the disapproval of a pop culture god. I haven't felt that embarassed since the last time I felt embarrassed which is more often than I should be admitting. I bowed my head deferentially as I shuffled past on my way to Second Class.

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