26 January, 2011


Is there a philosopher in the house?

You may have noticed in your travels that a place called Not In Service, which despite diligent and exhaustive searches I have been unable to locate on the very finest Ordnance Survery maps, is served by the nation's most extensive network of public transport services. Buses and trains all over the country offer direct if irregular links to the place.

The curious thing is, every last one of them runs empty, totally bereft of passengers. How can this be? I have long harboured dark suspicions of corruption or Government-funded make-work schemes or some comparable skulduggery.

Until yesterday, that is. Just south of Holborn tube station, a part of London quite stolidly grounded in reality, I saw a No 168 bus haring down Kingsway. Its destination blind clearly stated, Not In Service, and yet it was full of passengers. Perfectly normal-looking passengers.

It was a very surreal moment.

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