Satire’s guide to life in LNER First Class

By Liv Montgomery

Ever wondered what goes on behind the frosted glass doors of the LNER’s first-class cabin? Wonder no longer, for I, a plucky young Durham University student, have shelled out a hefty sum from my sesh fund, to get you the inside scoop. Even I have to take some more tutoring hours, or who am I kidding, ask my daddy for more money, it’ll be worth it to get you the truth from the heart of the action.

Standing on the platform in my Shoreditch-thrifted platforms, and my darling Depop leather jacket, I feel like a spy on enemy lines, a journalist of Gloria Steinem’s ilk, determined to bring to you, dear Palatinate reader, the hard-hitting truths from the life and times of the well-to-do. Looking up and down the platform at Kings Cross, I note the sleeky-suited sea of retirees and academics stood near my first-class carriage, probably discussing how hard it is to find good quality cashmere these days, or where in the North East you can find the best foie gras.

I receive a couple of sideways glances, passengers scoffing at me as though I were a character from Skins. I feel tempted to give them a real show, an Effie Stonem scowl, and light up, then I realize I left my baccy at that house party in Knightsbridge. Damn. This is going to be a long train ride.

I board the train and take my place in a large, reclined chair, empathizing for my comrades left behind in the cattle carriages. More used to pre’s in the Viaduct with tin cocktails, and Tesco wine, I am fearlessly sipping gin and tonics with the intelligentsia, the elite of the North East. I take a gluten-free brownie from the complimentary food trolley, musing on the glorious day on which we will finally seize the means of production and brownies will be for all.

            As I scroll through some gorgeous Brandy tops on depop, a conversation between the passengers next to me caught my attention. They are in the process of selling their horse, and have just received an email from their solicitor; the bourgeois pricks. They catch me looking but thinking quickly I flash them a smile that said ‘horse girl’. Phew! A close call, they nearly worked out I was an imposter. I only had riding lessons for two years as a kid until mummy decided it wasn’t worth the money.

            Or so I thought, they suddenly fall silent. I realized they may be seeing through my disguise. In a moment of quick thinking, I move one of my Camden Market rings to my ring finger, adopt the demeanor of a young heiress, then take a wine from the complimentary drinks trolley. “A Spanish Rioja?!” I scoff, “Surely the amount we pay for these tickets, we at least deserve an Old World Bordeaux!”. I expect them to stand and cheer, but I am met with an embarrassed silence. I forgot shows of emotion are frowned upon. I have blown my cover. I wash down the embarrassment with a whiskey and hold myself back from asking its age.

            I tried my best to bring you the honest truth, but alas, they saw through my disguise. I am just far too quirky and relatable to fit in with posh people. A real Bridget Jones. Fear not though, I am a true investigative journalist, and I will get this scoop, even if it kills me. When I take the train back to London for Cordelia’s next sesh, I promise to brave first class again, to find you, dear reader, the answers you deserve.

Imagine: Mtaylor848 via wiki commons

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