I boarded a train at King’s Langley in 1978. Nothing remarkable in that, you might say other than the fact that I’m old enough to have done so. I, with my sister and mother was, as usual, late and we ran for the train. Out of breath- panting like puppies who’d rediscovered their tails and had been trying to catch them for the previous ten minutes, we flopped into the available seats in the crowded second class carriage. I note the class for reasons that will hopefully become clear.
My mum, bless her, had an uncanny ability to pick fights with perfect strangers and this occasion was no exception. We wanted the window open and the apparently un-aristocratic, fairly pretty young lady sitting opposite wanted it shut. Imagine my surprise when, after some heated exchanges, which looked like they might soon come to blows, between her and my mother, she cried “…anyway how dare you talk to me when we haven’t even been formally introduced!”
Formal introductions were definitely out of vogue even as long ago as that.