The excellent Richard Morrison (the Times music critic but so much else besides) had a lovely article in Tuesday’s paper about his experiences getting home after reviewing a performance in the provinces. Well worth a read, but I was particularly struck by this paragraph near the end:
"To me, the night bus is a metaphor for so many useful public domains in Britain, from comprehensives and hospitals to swimming pools and parks, that are falling into terminal squalor because the middle classes have shrunk from them in horror, and decided to fund far more expensive private alternatives for their own exclusive use. The result is that Britain is increasingly two nations.I don’t like that. Which is why, as a token gesture you may consider ludicrous, I still use night buses."
I also like his subsequent paragraph:
"Besides, there’s a good chance that, among the dishelleved revellers returning from the grungy dives of Camden Town, I will bump into my own children. And as sociologists are always telling us, no father should spurn the opportunity to spend quality time with his offspring. Even if it involves lurching through the mean streets of North London as dawn breaks over Kentish Town."