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  • Writer's pictureBen Pechey

Yzma, Troika and Riding Trains with Kevin and Steve

A heads up; Kevin and Steve aren't real...

Welcome back to another stellar piece of journalistic flair, this month comes to you live (from the time of writing) from a Train to London. I am headed to an exciting meeting, which I don’t think I can talk about, so that’s irritating for you- sorry about that. Oh and said meeting has been cancelled and rescheduled twice all in the last 20 minutes - which means I just had 7 phone calls and sent 4 emails.

Okay, I’ve just left York, I’m on an LNER train -formerly Virgin- which I quite like because they are modern, clean and mostly efficient. Oh and because they always tell you, my train guard is called Sean and he is going to be doing a full ticket check, so makes sure you have all your travel documents to hand. I do love a long train journey, as it gives one a chance to get many things done, such as writing a blog post, catch up on your favourite podcast Translated, read a book or just perhaps sit and stare into space.

Today I am doing the first and last thing on my train journey. I like to observe other passengers and make up back stories for them. Where have they been, where are they going, who they are- try it, it’s very entertaining. For example, I’m sat across from a man I have named Steve, he has just left his wife, and is on his way to Hastings where he is going to live with his lover Trevor, and run a seaside Pub / Bed and Breakfast called the Bottled Cock.

See that passed plenty of time, we are now in Doncaster, not somewhere I have ever been, other than on trains. It’s the type of place that you would see on daytime telly.

Talking of daytime telly. Do you remember Troika? Of course, to understand the context of that question, you must, of course, remember the BBC’s not-such-a-hit-yet-still-on-telly-everyday Flog It. Presented by antique expert Paul Martin, who loved a blazer and scarf combo. Various members of the public with names like Doris, bring ‘valuables’ to be valued and then sold at auction. I’ve used inverted commas around the word valuables- as much of the items are in fact tat.

However, there were 2 things that were Flog It Regulars; Clarice Cliff and the aforementioned Troika. The former are lovely 1930s/40s deco pottery, collected by fabulous people like Anna Wintour see 00:30 of this video, the latter are less stylish yet still collectable Cornish pottery. Invariably the acting experts would slap an £80-120 estimate on Doris’ Troika vase, and Paul would stand smile and say how Troika always sells, and it would sell on the estimate. So do you remember Troika??

Talking of memory, did you ever see the wonderful Disney film “The Emperors New Groove”. Well, it bestowed an icon upon us in the form of Yzma played by Ertha Kitt. Yzma is an icon because she lived exclusively in purple, secondly, because she was kind of a tyrant, she always made time for dessert, had an evil lab and ALWAYS wore heels. The only issue is with her animators, who decided to put Yzma’s boobs on her waist, which is not okay. I thought you should know that Disney did the dirty on one of its best creations.

Talking of doing the dirty, back to my friend Steve. Steve has just got off at Newark Northgate so I doubt that my assumptions about his life are or ever will be true.

Steve, gone but not forgotten.

The passage of time is one that keeps moving and alas I did to find the time to finish this. I am now on the return leg of my journey, new train, new companion. The person sat next to me for this journey, is ‘called’ Kevin. Kevin is an investment banker, who is leaving London. Now, this next part has shaped my story, excitingly Kevin is using an app to DO A JIGSAW. Is this a thing now? I have never been a phone game person, I tried to get on board with Candy Crush but it wasn’t the life for me.

Back to Kevin.

Yes, Kevin is leaving London to attend the UK’s biggest Puzzle Expo in Carlisle. Kevin is a keen collector of puzzles, although he has never finished one, due to his very busy job. Well, this time; Kevin has vowed it will be different. He is going to quit his investment banking job, and thanks to some insider trading, has bought a disused bread factory in which to finish all the puzzles he has ever started.

One last thing to talk about before I draw this post to a close. Do you remember my plus size shopping guide last month? Well, that lovely Cardigan came from Lazy Oaf and was a birthday gift. I couldn’t get enough and ordered this EXQUISITE roll neck. Let’s all take a moment to ask in the glory of this knitted masterpiece. I doubt I will take it off this winter.

Oh and becasue its my website and not yours, I have one more thing to tell you; COSMO. Have you had chance to read the little piece that I wrote for ? Well now that you have read this post, go and read that one!!

Thank you again for joining me today, I will see you all next week...

Shot by Rachel Pechey

Shop My Look:

Jumper: Lazy Oaf

Trousers: River Island, Old

Earrings: Mango, Similar


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