Fashion is everywhere

Chez Larsson

List No.15: Stuff to Do on the Train


So last week on Friday I was sitting on the train to my mom’s which is a five and a half our train ride and then back again on Sunday. I both enjoy the ride because it’s time that can be spent doing nothing but after doing nothing for ten minutes I get bored and try to amuse myself. This week’s list is about how I kill time on a train.


* … read. Preferably crime novels but home design magazines have also been known to appear in the seat pocket in front of me.

* … check out blogs. I always bring my laptop and go online using my mobile internet thingy.

* … do cross word puzzles. There’s always one in the free magazine on the train and it’s just the right level of difficulty.

* … snack.

* … sleep, trying not to drool.

* … watch the landscape pass by. Those are the ten minutes of doing nothing.

* … make lists or add to them. On this trip my bathroom list got filled up.

* … watch movies. I didn’t on this trip because I was so busy list making but when I do I use a service called headweb on my laptop.

* … read junk mail. I brought some catalogs with me and ripped out ads and articles I wanted to check out further. Mostly related to stuff for the new house.

* … update cell phone contacts, sort messages and check out iPhone apps.

* … clear out and organize my tote bag. Martha even cleans her purses and bags with baby wipes when traveling, I just toss empty receipts and sort straying stuff into the different pockets. Oh, Martha!

That’s about it! Please feel free to add your time killers in the comments for next time I and the rest of you travel.

Happy weekend!

Ps. Please excuse the photo, I took it on a very shaky train with my iPhone…


  • Jo says:

    So no drooling then ?!!
    Good Tip ;o)
    Jo xx

  • Hxx says:

    Sewing? Noting of curtain-hemming proportions, but smaller projects or repairs. I am currently a cross-stitch addict – just completed Emily Peacock’s HUG, and have KISS to start soon.

  • Sewing is a great idea! And I bet knitting is great too come to think of it. I still haven’t started my cross stitch project due to the move but I’ll try and remember to bring that next time!
    Love those pillows btw!

  • Anna says:

    Sounds like you had a good trip!
    Maybe you can tell us some about your list making? Do you use a special program? How do you sort them and keep them updated etc?
    Have a nice weekend and good luck with all the packing!

  • Pia says:

    one fun way of killing time in the train is hearing amazing dialogues produced by fellow passengers. I’d recommend trains for all writers – what you sometimes hear goes beyond your imagination…
    Also trying to guess the professions of the fellow passengers is fun – you can tell a lot by the looks, the way they talk…

  • Älvan says:

    As someone else already suggested – sewing. Perfect for us hand-sewing historical costumers. Preferably combined with a nice audio book.

  • Pauline says:

    I’m with Pia it’s a great “people watching” time

  • I tried using a program but found it limiting so I use regular paper and pen and love crossing stuff out as I get it done. For this move I have all the lists in a notebook so I can access them all the time at home and at work.

  • Lena says:

    Listening to music, podcasts or audio books. The nice thing about it is that you can at the same time watch the landscape. I get easily bored just listening or just watching the landscape but doing the two things together is nice. I especially do it in foreign countries, where it is really interesting watching the landscape, while it kind of gets boring if I do it at home where I used to travel 4-5 times a week by train (now its just 2 times!:-)).

  • jja says:

    I love train rides and enjoy them at least once a month, super comfortable, great board restaurant, very fast.
    I love to do people waching thing but also making lists (with paper and pen), read, listen music, watch the landscape,or just think…yes, I adore to travel from my to another part of Germany like this.
    I would be desturbed if Martha would sit next to me with her acitvities.

  • elisa says:

    benita, you’ve inspired me with this.

  • Isabel says:

    I do my favourite thing: knitting. I still have not encountered others on the bus doing it, but I think more should.

  • OMG! Vilken mardröm! Speciellt intressant tycker jag det är med tomtekaraffen så här på våren :). Och tänk om de här har ansträngt sig och har plockat undan inför fotografering och visning…

  • EmilyR says:

    I love train (and plane) rides. Its about the only time I don’t feel like i have to do something, or accomplish anything. I do agree that its a great time to clean out my purse!

  • Maddy says:

    I bought an eReader (aka Kindle) before my recent trip to France and found it great to carry around for train and plane trips, much easier than paperback books.

  • Rebecca says:

    I crochet. I bring scraps of yarn and experiment, or a pattern and work my way through it.

  • Kari says:

    I can’t read on on trains, planes or in automobiles for that matter; I get motion sick very very easily. So I tend to listen to podcasts or look out the window. It would be so nice to be able to make lists or read.

  • Norma says:

    I always have a crochet project with me because I hate to be bored. When I know I’ll have that kind of time, I also write letters to people. I love sending snail mail on plain writing paper but cool envelopes and some sort of Japanese tape decoration. Nothing makes me happier than to get a hand written letter.

  • I am very similar, I’d probably look at the scenery for all of ten minutes before I was playing on my phone, or doing something on the laptop. I never thought about cleaning out my bag though – great idea!

  • KAT says:

    i have a knitting project with me at ALL times… Socks, Two At A Time is a a great book, books/magazines on my iPad, and I watch/listen to TedTalks, which are incredibly inspirational. Thanks ever SO much for the delight you offer daily with your blog!

  • Carly says:

    I love making tons of to do list when I’m in the airport and flying. I bring a journal book and write down all my million ideas and then make a to do list so that I have a plan of action to tackle the ideas. I can’t wait to see the transformation of your new house!!

  • devil says:

    I was born with an invisible tattoo on my forehead that reads, “Tell me your life story”. Because of this, the only way I can knit or crochet on public transportation without fielding 100 questions from creepy people is to wear earplugs and look annoyed while I knit. When I bring a book to read, it’s one I’ve covered in wrapping paper (so people won’t comment or ask about what I’m reading).
    How do you keep strangers from approaching you? Maybe it’s mostly a U.S. thing?

  • Nancy says:

    It’s funny that you should post this today as we just started looking into taking a 4 day train trip across Canada from Toronto to the mountains of Vancouver. Lot’s of time to fill on that trip! I did this trip in reverse almost twenty years ago and although I brought along a some quilt piecing to do, I ended up spending most of my time staring out the window looking for wildlife and just watching the varied landscape go by.
    One night during that trip, my Mother settled into the berth for the night dressed in her pajamas and was knitting before going to sleep. She didn’t worry about closing the curtain because for the most part we were in the middle of nowhere. Imagine her surprise when the train slowed down and came to a stop on a siding right beside another train only to find that the dining car was just outside her window; she had a perfect view of some people enjoying a late dinner and they of my Mother in her nightie knitting in bed!

  • Maki says:

    Hej Benita!
    I have “my idea note” with me all the time. There I write things I want to do later, or just ideas to brain storm. When I am busy, I don’t have time to look back what I wrote, so that would be perfect if I travel on a train such a long time!! I sew, too. I love quilting and I have some pieces all the time in my bag.

  • lisa h. says:

    I have a hard time getting into “real” books when I’m traveling; I’m too distracted or anxious to focus on the story in the book. Like, I can read the same paragraph over and over and not absorb any of it. I like looking at home decor books/mags though, and doing embroidery, neither of which requires the same level of concentration that reading does. I also listen to music.
    I think my feelings of nervousness also prevent me from sleeping on planes/trains. It’s not really bad nerves or fear, just the excitement of the trip and the anticipation of the arrival.

  • I also do the frowning thing and prefer to be left alone and mostly people do over here. We’re generally much more reserved than Americans :).

  • Zosia says:

    While travelling I read books (something light) or magazines or think up posts for my blog. I have trouble sleeping on planes and trains. I can sleep in the car sometimes if I am a passenger, but I have to be VERY tired and I have to trust the driver.

  • Wille used to get motion sickness and got too drowsy from the meds available but then we found out about a chewing gum (from a nice lady on a tough train trip) called Calma which helped enormously. You start chewing it 15 minutes prior to traveling and you don’t get sick! It was such a relief. Wille doesn’t get sick any more but I still have some gum left and always bring it on the train in case I run into someone not feeling well.