My favourite overheard conversation this week by far.
We are in a train, grumbling into London. Having just passed London Bridge station, we are now crossing the bridge that leads into Blackfriars. On our right, Tower Bridge, large as life. Ahead to the right, St Pauls. Also, the Gherkin. Slightly behind and above one building, we can glance the London Eye. And below us, the mighty Thames. A smallish boy turns to his father.
Kid: Dad? Is this Preston, or Cornwall?*
Dad: What? Oh, with the Bridges, you mean. Yes, I can see what youre saying.
Kid: Well which is it?
Kid: Is it Preston, dad? Or Cornwall?
Dad: Its LONDON, son. Its the captial city. Of Britain.
Kid: Is Manchester United a city, dad?
Dad: Well, Manchesters a city, son.
Kid: Is Manchester United a city though dad?
Dad: No. Its not.
Kid: Is Chelsea a city, then?
Dad: No. Its IN a city. Its in London.
Kid: But its not a city, dad?
Dad: No, its just a neighbourhood IN a city, son.
Kid: So Manchester Uniteds a city, but Chelseas just a little bit?
Dad: [Sighs] Yes.
Kid: Oh. Then how can They play football, dad?
Dad sighed. The other brother, older, surlier, staring out of the window until now, leant in to explain the vagueries of football to his curious sibling.
And then they got off the train, and I was that close to getting off behind them and having a day out following them around. Because if there was ever going to be a fun-filled, question-laden day out in Preston and/or Cornwall, this was going to be it.
Sadly, I had to go to work instead. Boooo.
*[For those reading and not in the UK, Preston is a small city in Lancashire, in the North West of England notable for For – Oh god, help me out Tim, please? – and Cornwall is an entire county. A HUGE area of land that makes up most of the pointy bit on the bottom left-hand corner of our little country]