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Itravel three hours every day to get to and from work. Commuting sucks. Beingsurrounded by sleepy city workers who smell of coffee, perfume, mint andmake-up (that’s on the way there; coming home it’s replaced with stale coffee breath, fast food lunches, cigarettes and sweat – the smell of hard work),who snooze through the stations until they get to theirs, who all read the samepapers or look at the bright screen of an iPad or Kindle. There’s businessmenwho furiously answer emails on their Blackberry, interns who tap and slidetheir finger over the Facebook app on their iPhones or those who just shut outthe world and listen to music, probably dreaming of more sleep. When theNational Rail ends and the Underground journey begins then the same thinghappens just in a smaller space and with those not staring into a paper, bookor Kindle staring at their shoes to avoid eye contact. The journeys are silent.Everyone too tired to talk yet, to disturb the sleepy silence, disturb theextra hour of rest we get before we work.

Despite this, the journeys are interesting. There's theoccasional pretty girl, the guy dressed in an odd outfit or who sings aloud,someone reading a book you love or someone smiling as they read which makes mewant to share the story, there's a familiar face, a quirky character, a rainbowof people, some dressed in pinstripe suits and others in the three stripes of atracksuit. Who are these people? Where are they going? What job will they do atthe other end? What will their day be like? How will we all combine to make surethe city keeps moving forward?

There’s also the reading time. Two hours a day set aside forreading is my idea of a well-planned day. The fact that it’s on an over-crowdedcarriage and costing me £400 a month is not ideal, but as long as I get that readingtime then I don’t mind. I also don’t mind because I’ve just finished the bestbook I’ve ever read.

Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold had me gasping,laughing, breathless and speechless. Most of the time I had no idea what wasgoing on around me because I was so absorbed in the 560 pages in my hands and Icould’ve ridden the train to its final destination and back just so I didn’thave to stop reading. The book is a magic trick from beginning to end and thatfinal page turn, late a few nights ago, kept me awake with excitement.

It was like the moment I sat in the plush velvet comfort ofthe cinema chair after the final frame of Inglourious Basterds snapped toblack. I agreed with the final line: it was a masterpiece. Then I thought to 20minutes earlier when I was open-eyed and open-mouthed as I stared in excitementas the on-screen cinema burned down. This is a film made to be watched here, Ithought. An ode to how good cinema and storytelling can be. I wanted to watchit again, straight away, I wanted to be excited and moved, to feel the tension,to fall in love with the beautiful blondes, to be entertained and forgeteverything else around me.

I love beer because of the thrill of the chase, because Inever know what’s coming next. It might be something new or it might be an oldfavourite. It might be something so good I have to order another pint of it. Imight be alone in the pub or with friends. I might be at home. And whateverbeer I drink it might just be the best beer I’ve ever tasted. Or a great beer.Or a good one. Or one so bad it makes me laugh.

I can now say the names of my favourite book and favouritefilm. Mr Brightside is my favourite song because it brings back so manymemories and makes me want to jump around with no cares. The exciting thing isthat I want to carry on reading, watching films and listening to music to havesimilar experiences, to be removed from the moment and absorbed in something;to be entertained, pleased, excited.

If I find that perfect beer then, like books or films,the search won’t stop because every beer has a different story that I want toknow. And we make our own stories around them by where we drink them and whowe’re with. The fact that we are characters in that story is the exciting part.The three hour commute is worthwhile when I’m transported to other places andtimes and emotions through the story. With beer the joy comes in the moment andthe way we make that beer part of our story.