Not any old Actor either, the one from Four Weddings and a Funeral with the charming manner. The young one. Now, as I have been saying in another draft post (they're piling up, I will probably spare you the one relating the Quaker Plague), I haven't seen much TV recently, which has made me something of a TV enthusiast - for me it has becoming rather like the cinema. The effect may not alway be good: an unplanned sighting of Wire in the Blood shredded my nerves rather more than it probably needed to, though I did think Robson Green was very good, which I don't think anyone under fifty thought was possible.
Anyway: I digress. As I passed the Actor in the vestibule (that's a technical word for the bit between the trains, the place where they shoot you if you try to smoke out of the window), I had the strange feeling that I've also experienced in the presence of Harry Enfield. As it happened, I had seen Harry Enfield twice in quite a close time range (I must have been in Soho a lot at that time) and so said Hello to him without thinking about it. Now, I was much younger and less self conscious in those days and so now I felt a lot more awkward. You obviously have to look at the Actor you see, to check he really is who he claims to be, but really when you've seen someone on TV quite often there's rarely any doubt. And he was talking on the phone, in that voice we know so well from such programmes as that spooky scottish drama and that other detective one.
So anyway, when you look at the poor actor, you immediately feel a bit bad, because it must feel a little odd when people look at you in that familiar way all the time like they know you, even on Virgin Trains, where the punters are much friendlier on the whole than other commuters. Then you feel awkward, and hence the odd sensation of bumping into someone you knew years ago but who you no longer really know well enough to talk to.
The Actor is sitting in my carriage and not in first class, so let's hope he feels more comfortable amongst the poor commuters than the first class, where people think nothing of asking you personal questions because they've paid far more for their ticket and think you're the special guest celeb. He probably knows that people will automatically think better of him for not sitting in first class, apparently not something that occurs to MPs.
Let's hope he's not thinking about all the people writing draftposts for their blogs, texting their mums and sneakily taking pictures on their phones. For my part, I will only be doing one of those things.
Coincidentally, at the moment I am reading a book called the Long Winded Lady by Maeve Brennan, who wrote for the New Yorker in the fifties and sixties. The Claire with an I lent it to me and it is very good. Very bloggy actually, and a good book to read if you're spending quite a lot of time alone, for example on trains as it makes you Observe more. You have to be a very good writer to really pull it off, which is doubtless why I will remain in the realms of blogging and not have a collected works in 50 years time. It is also a good book for anyone who misses New York, for it constantly reminds you of names and places and makes them seem rather more glamorous than they really were. She spotted many celebrities round New York, such as Greta Garbo, and she writes that it is acceptable to stare at them because you recognise them and therefore know them. And also that they are so used to people staring at them that you, the starer, becomes invisible. Which is, in a way, true. And not entirely undesirable.