Today something special happened. It will probably change my life. And yet for most of you, it's the silliest, most trivial thing; plenty of you do it every day.
I took the train. I'm sixteen years old and I took the train. Perhaps you smile - "sheltered life", "pampered southerner". But the truth is, where I live, you don't take trains. There is no public transport. You want to get somewhere, you walk; but most likely, you don't want to go anywhere. Rural southern England - a field's a field, everywhere looks the same.
But today, I needed to go to the big city. Just to meet up with my girlfriend. She's a city lass, she doesn't know about my train virginity. The only way I can get there is to be driven to the station, and catch a train.
The train leaves at 1:27. Our car screeches into the station car park at 1:25, my mum rushes in and buys me a ticket from the flustered woman behind the counter. She wants to go back to the car and leave me to my own devices, but I don't have that kind of confidence yet. She has to walk out onto the platform with me; the train pulls up.
"See you later," she says. "Ring me when you get there."
I take a seat right by the door, on my own. I look out the window and see the country-side rushing past. It's 1:28, and there's a childish excitement running through my bones. I'm ashamed among all these people, who use this wonderful service every day, to be so excited. "It's nothing but childish," I remind myself. A smile spreads over my face nonetheless.
The journey passes without any real drama. I worry the whole way that I'm on the wrong train, that I'll miss my stop.
"The next stop is... Cambridge." The doors open. I step out, onto the grey sheltered platform.
The sign reads "Welcome to Cambridge", and I feel it. I don't think I rang my mum.