2:30pm Galle. All aboard the shambling express to Colombo - this is a very different ride to those trains which were leaving early this morning. For a starter on this train we have women and children in quite considerable numbers and secondly, because we are leaving the tourist south we have backpackers and therefore luggage.

This luggage is not an issue for me - but for the man in the checked black and white suit selling devilled prawns - let's call him Fish Seller - to him the suitcases and the rucksacks are a massive issue. These are not just small rucksacks however, there are tent-carrying kitchen-serving mothers of rucksacks. But his anger, or rather noise is a tactic - he huffs, puffs, explodes, fakes anger, talks about regulations and freight in an attempt to catch the attention of the owners. It's not long that the Low Country Three (3 young women) in the corner break their private Dutch conversation to admit to owning them - they start to apologise and this they are trapped. In no time at all money is changing hands, it is smiles all round.  The girls sit down slightly shocked and nervous to eat the three bags of devilled fish that they find they have purchased, as Fish Seller goes on to the next carriage happy. The Low Countries Three become even more private and insular to the rest of us.

Whilst this has been going on, the aisle has been inevitably blocked and the Blind Beggar - continuously tap tapping his stick whether moving or not - has worked the rest of the carriage. People don't hand over much - notes of 10, 20 and 50 rupees but that adds up quite quickly here. I wonder unfairly and cruelly if Blind Beggar and Fish Seller are a double-act who know each other.

We still haven't left the station, the train already has come from Matara and is waiting at the station - but the delay seems to be more about the station platform Ice Cream Seller than about the rigours of the timetable. I walk to the vestibule to hang out of the door and look and as I do so the horn sounds bold and long and we pull seamlessly from the station - Ice Cream Seller retreats and mothers reach for tissues to wipe their mucky smeared children who are themselves briefly happy.

On this journey I'm sitting quite near a door - always open - it would be stifling to shut and so I get the benefit of the breeze that wafts in under the convection of the train as we move - it's a welcome relief from the intensity of walking round Galle.  In fact it's so nice I opt to sit on the floor and feel the wind lap round me.

Enter a very new character in my play - the Ticket Attendant. It's a pretty tight uniform - black shoes (polished) khaki brown trousers, steam pressed with strong creases, a broad dark leather belt - buckle gleaming and a matching Khaki shirt - Sri Lankan Railway Security Service - two stripes, a pocket watch chain hangs to the front and under his arm a stiff charcoal grey cap that gives him the authority to ignore the luggage and make no fuss at all about anything. He stands alone in the doorway so I struggle up from the floor - my knee creaking at the long day walking - and I make conversation.  He does this journey once - that is once down Colombo to Matara - has his lunch there and then back to Colombo where he lives - just outside the city centre. The work is fun he says. But it's not a long chat - but he allows me a joint selfie - I feel I have overstayed my welcome and I feign feeling cooler and retake my seat.

We have couple of new characters in the carriage and vestibule area that I'm occupying. We have Fun Lounger number 1 - flip flops, pale blue jeans, and an orange T-shirt that has been ironed, and he carries a smile that will get him through life. Next to him is Fun Lounger number 2 - sandles, dark blue jeans and a green shirt sleeved shirt. They clearly don't know each other, don't talk, and I realise that number two is only here to throw his nut shells out of the open door as we travel, and that he is not really lounging nor fun.

So back to Fun Lounger number 1. He getting the best of the breeze as we dream along the track and I'm feeling jealous - I'm also keen to avoid Food Seller (Bread Rolls) who I can hear in the next carriage. I also sense we are approaching a station soon so a new form of money extraction via disability or guilt will appear so I try engaging by sharing the open door and the breeze. He is very welcoming, probably too welcoming and we chat along nicely. He has no sense of personal space, he talks by looking straight through your eyes and he puts his arm round me as though I'm his brother. He is going to Colombo see family, and I think some work, but my Sinhala is non-existent and his English nervously weak. We chat a bit, I enjoy the camaraderie, take some pictures as we pull in and out of Hikkaduwa and then I beat my retreat.

I sit in the opposite vestibule watching the palm trees swing past us and wonder if we are moving at all - perhaps the train is a fixed point and the glamour of Sri Lankan nature is sweeping past me... But it's a collection of images - mostly composed of verdant brown and summer greens with the ocean deep providing the continuous lush wash and the sky with its dreamy blue backdrop.

Enter the Smiling Young Mother - 20's, smart, organised and in control. She gets on with her two boys - probably about 6 or 8 years old or both. There is only one seat so I stuff my rucksack underneath and go wonderfully polite and offer it up - the very best of English manners - the two boys giggle and one gives me a high five. The other goes shy - after a mini family conference between the three of them he gets up from my vacated seat and raises his hand and we high five each other. There. Friends for life.

Fun Lounger number 1 still occupying the other doorway and absorbing the breeze looks on approvingly and gives me his full deep smile, teeth flashing white and eyes upon me and then to close the engagement he nods firmly at me. In this heat, frankly, I was melting already. And then that smile. Deep breath and back to my photography.