Yesterday, I said that my muse seems to have gone off on holiday. After reading this story on the BBC website this morning, I wonder if she’s travelling by train, and in particular if she’s travelling with Chiltern Railways. The headline reads
Chiltern Railways toilets become ‘inspiration stations’
and the story tells how the train toilets are being transformed with floor-to-ceiling vinyl images based on “attractions” along the Birmingham to London route. The only example cited is Compton Verney, an 18th Century country mansion in Warwickshire.
I went over to the Chiltern Railways website but couldn’t find any more about these “muse loos”. I did, however, find the advert I’ve used to illustrate this post.
People do some very odd things on trains – last time I travelled from Birmingham, in the space by the luggage rack where there was a power socket there was a girl sitting on the floor shaving her legs – and “schmooze” sounds so very sleazy and smarmy, like slow dancing in a smokey jazz dive.
In fact, Chambers dictionary defines it as:
schmooze verb (schmoozed, schmoozing) intrans (usually schmooze with someone) to gossip or chat in a friendly or intimate manner.
And even the urbandictionary.com, gives nothing worse than:
Making ingratiating small talk – talk that is business oriented, designed to both provide and solicit personal information but avoids overt pitching. Most often an artifact of “networking.” It is more art than science but can be learned.
If my muse is on the train, if she’s stuck in the loo, I hope the vinyl walls are inspirational, and if she’s schmoozing her way across the country, I hope she’s gathering some useful contacts for me, not just gossiping with her sisters.