LAURA CARTLEDGE: Train trips can be just the ticket if you’re a little bit nosy like me

I LOVE train journeys. I’ll confess a lot of my enjoyment comes from being a little bit nosy.

As HRH Prince Philip puts it “the media is a professional intruder” and this week one particular trip from Chichester to Brighton and back served up journalistic gold.

On the way out there was the discussion of prison security – which, understandably, made me sit up a bit.

“They aren’t as secure as you’d think,” apparently.

“I used to pop out and visit friends. As long as you don’t have anything in your pockets or a jumper round your head they can’t nick you for trying to escape,” – lovely.

And, now I don’t know if seats aren’t ‘street’ anymore, but it would explain why groups gather in the vestibule sections near the doors despite being on a relatively empty train.

Perhaps sitting down would crease their tracksuits?

Anyway. There they were. Discussing online purchases from a certain rapper’s website.

They were ‘well cold’ which I can only take to mean they are either cooler than cool or just not stolen, which is nice.

On the way back I hit rush hour and was soon joined by two women in their late 50s at a guess – and a quiet book reader with surprisingly big feet.

Oh the women. One explained to the other how she had bought steak for dinner. Which was nice.

I just don’t think putting it on the table was completely necessary. But there it stayed. Swishing around in its juices.

However even this was upstaged as steak lady’s friend spent the whole trip picking her nail varnish off.

Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps, but I couldn’t ask her to stop could I?

Instead I curled my hands into fists and focused all of my attention on my handbag.

Perhaps next time I’ll pack some headphones and an eye mask.