The journey home began well enough. I found an empty table, kicked my shoes off and began reading the new Michael Faber novel. Then, just as the train started to edge of Victoria Station, three middle-aged women surrounded me and started chatting loudly about something they'd been to. I stopped reading.
Suddenly, one of the women noticed me. "Oh, I'm afraid we've rather invaded your space. Would you like to have some wine with us?"
It seemed rude not to say yes.
After finishing my plastic glass I tried to have forty winks, but it was impossible. The women were loudly going through lists of men's names and discussing their eligibility as suitors. If a man wasn't interested in them, he was gay, apparently.
A few minutes later, the conductor announced that due to engineering works, the train wouldn't be going any further, so would we all please transfer to the bus replacement service. My heart sank, particularly when I saw an oxymoronically-named 'Crawley Luxury' coach, with Lewes as its destination.
We waited in the dark, dank forecourt, like refugees fleeing from a conflict. We wanted to go home, but our driver, a small, wiry, bald man, with an earring and a nylon short sleeve shirt, had other ideas.
On the edge of the crowd, a young man asked if there was time to have a smoke. The driver nodded and the young man lit a joint. A well-to-do man in his 50s said "Hmm, that's a rather nostalgic smell." A few people laughed, to advertise the fact that they also had a bit of a past.
After ambling around the coach for the tenth time, the driver suddenly decided that we might as well go and asked us to take our seats. The engine clicked into life and Heart FM blared Black Box's 'Ride On Time' through the speakers. It was going to be a long journey.
To make things worse, it soon became clear that our driver had no idea where he was going. At first, I assumed that he was following a special drivers' route, but when we passed Horsham Station - 10 miles in the wrong direction - a man in a pinstripe suit and metrosexual shirt decided that enough was enough.
To his credit, the driver didn't bother trying to pretend that he knew what he was doing and the rest of the journey involved the passengers shouting directions in unison every time we approached a turning: "LEFT...NO, LEFT!"
Our 27-mile journey took one hour and 20 minutes. Next time, I think I'll share a taxi with a few people.
But I digress. I was meant to be sharing a book jacket that I recently discovered: 'Gourds', by the aptly-named John Organ.