Heading for Dublin, my wife and our kids caught an evening train from Euston to Holyhead yesterday, avoiding the weekend closures and delays. They phoned this morning to tell the tale of their journey. It seems the carriages were packed and there was all sorts of confusion over reserved seats. For a while, Sheila and one of the children had to stand. But then a quiet, suited businessman insisted that one of them take his seat, and soon afterwards a young man with a nose stud and coloured hair said he'd be happy to stand in the bar for an hour. So that was all four of my family sitting down. At intervals, Sheila checked that the young man didn't want his seat returned, but he was happy in the bar: he'd met a woman there. Sheila bought them both a drink. Indeed, the crowding and disorder seems to have broken social ice all round. By the time the train reached Crewe, two teenage girls were having a fine time flirting with a teenage boy and my wife had made the acquaintance of a woman who'd been a midwife in Peckham for 13 years. Seems there can be an upside to British public transport hell. "Epic," was how Sheila put it.