(JP: 'Had a very bizarre week this week, really, and I'm slightly fatigued as a result of it, but you won't be able to tell from the excellence of the programme. Of course, things will flow seamlessly before you between now and whenever the programme ends. I had to go up to Birmingham initially, had to drive up there. Nothing wrong with that, but the road into Birmingham was closed so it meant I had to spend half an hour driving around parts of Birmingham with which I was entirely unfamiliar, getting completely lost and ending up in one of those hotels which is incredibly expensive. I didn't have to pay for it, fortunately, but really quite absurdly expensive, and you go down to the bar in the evening, hoping to read the paper and have a beer and perhaps even fall into conversation with somebody. Of course, it's full of melancholy businessmen with women rather younger than they are that they obviously don't know terrifically well. It's not the kind of place that go to for fun and expectation and so forth. But then I had to go up to Lancaster after this and on the way back down again (this is where the story really starts), coming back down with British Rail (it's not called that any more, but whatever part of the railway system it was that I was on), we got to Preston Station, which I'm sure in its own way has a lot to recommend it, but I couldn't see it, I have to admit, from where I was on the train. And I was on the train for quite a long time because they decided to remove one of the carriages from the middle of the train. That's a laborious business, but at the same time lots of rail technicians will leap forward and they'll know exactly what to do. Not so, in the rhythm of 95: it seemed to be the responsibility of the guard, who's the ticket collector, rather an amiable feller, nearing retirement I would say, and not a man who looked as though he had much technical ability. It was rather disconcerting to be sitting immediately next to where this was 'cos it was the coach behind the one I was in, the doors were open and you could hear them say things like, "Do you undo this, Jack?," and "Well, I think so, let's see what happens." At one stage, somebody shouted out, "Has anybody got a hammer?," and I thought, this is not part of refined railway technology as I expect it to be. They eventually got it undone, anyway...Then they pulled the front part of the train into a siding, you sit there, they always bang you about a bit...and then they sent in another engine in to pull out the dead carriage, and it's just backwards and forwards. Call me a fusspot, but I think railway sidings in Preston are probably the least exciting place that you'll ever visit in all of your life. I didn't have a great deal of fun I must admit, and arrived home at the end of the day in rather less than a perfect temper.')
(JP: 'The most bizarre thing about all of this business is...you know how it is. People say that when trains go wrong, the British become more matey and actually speak to each other, which under normal circumstances they don't at all, of course, and I thought at least I'll be able to rejoice in this. Sitting opposite me was rather a glum young woman of about 20. I phoned home to tell people what was going on (that's all I ever use my mobile phone for, to be honest)...and I said to her, "Is there anybody you'd like to phone?," and she looked at me as though I'd said, "Do you mind lifting your vest so I can gaze on your luscious orbs?" and said, "No!" as though I'd made the most outrageous suggestion in my life.')
↑"This is probably number 1 by now: if it isn't, it certainly should be, and if it is, well there you are. There's an indication that things are still all right with the world." It actually made number 2 in the UK charts.