I’ve been commuting or forty-five years now and the activities on my journey home have changed considerably.
In 1974, when I first started journeying back to south-west London, having got on at Embankment, I’d have finished the Evening News picture crossword by the Elephant and would have (unsuccessfully) spotted the ball by Clapham Common.
The only time you’d have heard the word wireless on the Underground would have been people telling you what they were going to listen to on it later that evening!
Now papers are packed with things like Sudokus and other things which sound vaguely like types of motorbikes, martial arts or members of the Imperial Japanese Navy! (Ironically, the No. 1 when I first started commuting was Carl Douglas’s Kung Fu Fighting, which is a martial art).
No more do people get the Evening Standard to look for the stop press to see the teatime cricket scores, they can listen on their phones to former public-school types telling you exactly that, whilst throwing in cake recipes.
These days you’ll know in pretty much in advance what the next day’s newspaper headline will be and no longer will reading “Queen Anne, dead” be a surprise.
Futoshiki? Thank you, but I’m allergic to most fish.