Thursday, October 19, 2006

one of those moments...

Every morning, I trudge out of my flat, walk up the stairs to the street (basement flat), look at the sky to make sure it's not going to rain on me, then begin my walk towards the Underground station.

I look at the trees in Kensington Gardens (to my left for most of the walk) for signs of the beautiful autumn colours that I'm used to seeing, dodge around other people walking down the pavement, then grab my Oyster card and a free copy of the London Metro (newspaper), and wait for the elevator to take me down to my train. The trains look like a sea of open newspapers, dotted with the heads of well-dressed business people, who jump up importantly when their stops are called. I contemplate taking a picture for my blog, but realize they might not feel photogenic first thing in the morning...

I get off the train at Oxford Circus (even the tube station's like a circus - so many people) and then onto another one that takes me to the area where I catch a bus to get to my school.

Instead of going to the bus depot, I walk down the road a little to extend my outside time. Yesterday the sun shone on me and a family of birds chattered at me as I walked underneath their tree. Guess they thought I was going to steal their food or something...

The bus passes Walthamstow High Street and I watch the people putting up their tents for another day, thinking that I can't wait until I can afford to shop at the High Street in Kensington (need some plants in my flat), and try to ignore the noise from the secondary school children at the back of the bus.

A crossing guard stands on the opposite side of the street who always presses the button to stop traffic when she sees me coming (even though we both know that she's really supposed to only do that for the children). We have a friendly mini-conversation and I enter the school grounds with a smile on my face.

After 5 weeks of the exact same routine, I can do this without thought. Even though I have given a lot of description, I really haven't been noticing much around me (especially in the morning before I have my first coffee), so I've probably missed out on some good blogging material.

Like this:

Today, I walked up a tunnel surrounded by people making their way home, absorbed in their own thoughts, checking text messages, chatting with colleagues or friends, or racing through the crowds to catch the next train. In the midst of this, a guitar plays a familiar tune, accompanied by an untrained, but not unpleasant, voice.

A long, long time ago...
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

I smile as I start singing softly along with him, thinking about how even when I'm dead tired that certain music always makes me happy. We make eye contact as I continue to sing along, him knowing that I'm enjoying his music even though I didn't have change to drop into his guitar case. As I walk down the steps to catch my last train of the day, the strains of music follow me.

Last week it was another person singing "Imagine" from John Lennon. Two days ago, another man sang "Beautiful" by James Blunt.

I always look forward to the part of my journey when I pass these lone musicians, knowing that those few moments make my day just that little bit sweeter...


  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger Beechball * said…

    That was really sweet. It's true though, how we forget to pay attention to the things around us because it's so repetitious at time. I remember when I was walking around downtown T.O once I heard some of the most beautiful music... it makes you stop and appreciate the little things. It also made me see people for more than just what's on the outside - a homeless man can just be a really unfortunate star who lost his way - who knows. Anywho, your post was very sweet, good job! :)

  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous mom said…

    Didn't I always tell you that music is food for the soul.
    Love you.

  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Stu said…

    I'm now in Los Angeles, which is a very different sort of city. But I was born and raised just outside of NYC and then lived in Washington DC for 13 years. Your stories of London are wonderful travelogues that are a real joy to read. Thank you for sharing them.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Melinda said…

    Aww thanks so much for the sweet comments - you really make it worthwhile to write in this blog :)


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