Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Monday, a few minutes before rush hour
The life of a commuter is full of many things; stress, Angry Birds, influenza. The diet of a commuter is not, stir fry, pasta, chicken Kiev, the list of week night dinners is not a long one.
Casseroles, curries or any other dish that requires any real cooking time rarely makes it to the school night dinner table of the London commuter. Not today though. Today I have finished work on time and have all the ingredients needed for a chicken casserole with tomato and cider recipe I was given.
The train is mostly full but my usual seat is free and I slide into the window seat. Across from me sit an elderly couple. They must be in their 70s. He looks like a cross between Martin Sheen and Murray Walker and is wearing a flat cap, a green jacket and dark green cord trousers. She has a slightly camel looking face, in a charming way, and wears a cream overcoat, leather gloves and wine coloured trousers. She carries an umbrella and a large handbag. They both wear poppies.
As I sit down I quickly take out my headphones to make sure the noise doesn’t bother them. They have been talking about the crowds on the train.
“It’s going home time, almost” she says, looking at her watch.
“Yes” he replies, giving her a smile.
He pauses and then leans into her.
“We’re going home with the workers”
They both smile and he leans back into his seat still smiling. It’s all very sweet. I go back to my book and they continue to chit chat to one another.
“Downton” I hear the lady say.
“It’s funny what they did”
I fumble for my headphones.
“Not really funny but…” she continues.
I have been avoiding Twitter and conversation with colleagues all day so as not to find out who snuffs it in the last Downton Abbey of the series and now…
I quickly press PLAY. Ghostpoet fills my ears. I lay back still ignorant and my evening’s entertainment unspoiled and think about the direction my life, full of casserole and period drama, has taken.