. . . and are Northerners really more talkative with strangers?. . . or are my preconceptions showing?
I travelled from Southampton to London without chatting - my fault to some extent, nose in book, sitting in those 'bus seats where you only see people's backs!
I took the tube and managed to avoid eye contact in the regulation manner. Why doesn't Waterloo station display an obvious tube map? If it had, I could possibly have caught a train an hour earlier, but no matter, I wasn't in a rush this time.
Later, waiting at St Pancras, I was seated on that metal tube in the upstairs area. Why doesn't Saint Pancras have enough seats? Walking by, just off the train from Derbyshire were a couple who are friends of my brother and his wife.
On the train heading north, lots of smiles - and towards the end of the journey, the very friendly trolley man (from Nottingham area) chatted to the family at the table opposite me, asking where they were from - Switzerland.
Ah ha, so that's why I thought they were speaking German, but couldn't understand it! So I tried my rusty German out!