I’ve never really thought about where my happy place is until who’s the mummy tagged me in the My Happy Place meme. After seeing Sally’s newly transformed kitchen where she shares a morning coffee with Flea before school has made me wonder long and hard about where I would call happy. It finally struck me this morning as I was travelling down to London on the train. Trains are my happy place, admittedly if I was a regular commuter I probably would change my mind. I don’t travel on trains half as much as I once did, popping up to see my Mum etc is more difficult once you have children so taking the car is easier.
During my youth, I was part if the Sea Cadets and would often attend training weeks held in Portsmouth, Plymouth and Prestwick so I would think nothing about jumping on a train. Whilst they always provided suggested travel times they were never great so I would work out where I needed to change and simply catch the next available train to that destination. Bearing in mind I was just 14 years old before the days where every teenager had a mobile phone, my Mum trusted me to be safe and ask for help if I needed it. In reality that was my first real taste of independence, far more than my friends of a similar age ever had. I would occupy myself on the train listening to CD’s (mp3 players have certainly freed up a lot of space in my bag nowadays), chatting to random people about their day and answering questions on how on earth I managed to carry a backpack that was almost the same size as me or with a good dose of people watching.
‘there’s nothing as queer as folk’
I love a good spot of people watching as the saying goes ‘there’s nothing as queer as folk’. Sitting watching others on the train fascinates me, I wonder where they have been, where they are going, and for what reason. Usually, on the way down to London, I am surrounded by business people, with their laptops, coffee and that important call that can’t possibly wait for an hour until they get into the office. The holidays bring out families who are heading off for a big day in the capital, the children are all excited to be on the train and are keen to get to London and enjoy the day ahead. With promises of Hamleys, the London Eye and other tourist destinations I love listening to how they are planning on filling their day. Sports fans are an interesting bunch, especially on the way home as it has either gone one way or the other. Both can bring the alcohol, shouting and bad language but as long as they are not being disrespectful then I say leave them to it.
On a busy train, I understand the need to use up any available seats, after all, you have paid your train ticket so it’s only right that you get a seat. The thing that both frustrates and fascinates me is those people who get on a relatively empty train and choose to sit next to somebody. Are they looking for company on the way home? A conversation maybe? Do they like the look of that person and hope that natures sparks will strike? Who knows but please don’t ask me to move my bags just to sit next to me, you will block my view to people watch!