Usually when I’m commuting to and fro, I have my head in a book (or rather my eyes on my ebook reader). Sometimes I’ll read the paper on the way home. Other times I may watch an episode of 30 Rock on my tablet, mainly because they’re nice and short.
Today I watched the people around me.
A few of them were looking at their phones, reading emails, checking on Facebook or Twitter, or maybe even writing an email. The majority seemed to be reading the Evening Standard, our complimentary evening news paper in London.
Two elderly ladies sitting beside me and beside each other were both reading books on their iPads. I found that particularly amusing. Especially considering that my Mom (who isn’t elderly) would freak out at being confronted with the option of reading a book on an iPad.
Another guy was reading on a kindle and a sole traveler was reading an actual book. I had already noticed him as he jumped on the tube, because he was immaculately groomed. I somehow wasn’t surprised to see him read a book “the old-fashioned way”. He was also impeccably dressed, but then again his black sneakers didn’t go all that well with his suit pants (or trousers as they say here). It wouldn’t have been too bad had it not been for the white stripe on the side of the sneakers.
The girl across from me was wearing bright red “wellies” (or wellingtons otherwise known as gum boots). She was sitting beside her boyfriend and they were doing adorable couply things like playing with each others hands and fingers.
Watching them I decided that I miss the intimacy and familiarity of a relationship. It’s the little things that matter the most. Namely those obvious signs of affection and the two looking at each other not worried that somebody might be watching them and hardly noticing anyone else around them.
She left before him and her seat was then occupied by another older woman, who had watercolour paint on her jeans. She also had some rolled up watercolour paintings in a plastic bag under her seat. She looked like she might be an arts teacher. Or possibly someone doing an arts evening course. But I’d stake my bets on the teacher, because it would’ve been too early for an evening course to have finished already.
Unless she’d been painting all day and was on her way to the course, in which case she really could’ve changed jeans before leaving the house.
Concentrating on a few people around me, there’s only one other thing that struck me about the majority of the occupants of our car: almost everyone wore dark colours. It’s still Winter and that does seem to be the norm. I wore a black coat myself. But it is also almost mid-March and the current spell of freezing cold is most unwelcome.
I hope to see more colour on the tube soon, fewer scarves and gloves and hats and also more smiles, because Spring brings one thing above all: new life.
Even to the living such as ourselves, who’re all walking around as if we’re hibernating.
Or dozing on the tube, which is what most people do in the morning.