Your time starts … Now.


Not only was my train cancelled because the incoming service had developed “emergency engineering works at Newark” but every other train leaving London for Yorkshire was not running because of a euphemistic “Police Incident” displayed on the screens but a “Person struck by a train” on the station announcements.

At least an hour’s worth of trains were delayed and although not in the middle of rush hour, the station was still very busy. I started to estimate the cost of the incident in terms of wasted time, lost productivity and monetary cost. However I quickly realised that I could use the extra hour of non-productivity to think a bit more about my speech, and especially how I might begin.

While pacing the station concourse and queing for a coffee, here are a few of the options that I considered.

“Hello, good afternoon and welcome…”

“It was a dark and stormy night…”

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the birth of a marriage…”

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy…”

“As B awoke from a night of uneasy dreaming…”

“It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

“I’ll start at the very beginning…”

“Once upon a time…”

“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.”

“’twas brillig…”

“Welcome to just a couple of minutes…”

“Yo dudes…”

“Hey – it’s nearly all over…”

“Stop fighting and listen…”

“I’ve started, so I’ll finish…”

Or maybe I’ll think of something different while I wait for a connection in Doncaster.


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