Get train to Wimbledon where purchase Racing Post from vendor friend on platform. Vendor friend eyes leopard print muffler with inscrutable expression. Plough up ludicrously narrow stairs at Wimbledon station that always in the morning congested like my lungs have been since last week’s flu bout. Thus excellent spot to put in surprise ticket check would be right at top of stairs, n’est ce pas? Oui, monsieur. Therefore, as turn round corner at top of stairs, run slap bang into tail back of commuters having ticket checked, and have luxurious 0.5 seconds to extract season ticket from debris of Kit Kat and chewing gum wrappers, receipts, and sunflower seeds for pigeons in pocket, whilst endeavouring not to look like fare dodger. South West Trains as ever have manned ticket check barriers rather as if expecting terrorist attack, with total of 8, yes, eight, (huit), (VIII), (八) ticket inspectors on duty to check tickets and grill those who unfortunately failed to buy ticket for morning journey. Plus additional back up of at least two Transport Police, bulky blokes in citrus yellow hi-vis jackets, presumably primed to arrest fare-dodgers who try make a break for it or intervene if ticket altercation break out, which it sometimes does. Fortunately as have spent £2.4k in advance for season ticket can pass through airily waving bit of yellow card like back stage pass.
Purchase righteous decaf cappuccino and mosey on down to Tube concourse where spot serious looking black German Shepherd size of Hound of Baskervilles on end of chain attached to small lady owner talking with nice Tube employee. Say ‘good boy’ in time honoured fashion to huge canine, who deigns to lick hand without biting it off or indeed demonstrating discernible sense of humour. Hound of Baskervilles surprisingly not part of ticket check, although have occasionally seen sniffer dogs on duty at surprise check, which even more unpleasant for those who don’t have ticket but do have something even more expensive on person.