Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Your face lights up

I am a very sociable person who is fascinated by people- but who loves silence and time alone. I am aware that this may sound contradictory. 

I like the idea of mute salons, where you can go for haircuts, nail appointments and the like and they promise not to engage you in conversation if you make an appropriate signal. 

My dream salon seems to be very far from becoming a reality... So if I'm feeling quiet I take a book. I found myself in the local place early on a Sunday morning, last year in fact- and the genuinely lovely lady I was seeing asked me the stock 'what did you do this week' question?

Inside I sighed a little but she really was engaging- so I put down my thriller and started telling her in detail about who I had seen, where I had been, what I'd been doing. 

I chatted away and after a while my new friend stopped working, looked at me and smiled. I looked back, wondering why this interlude. She said 'you light up when you talk about this man, it is lovely to see'.

I tried to shrug it off as my general enthusiasm about the event we'd been to, but I think she saw through me. 

She is right of course, in that way strangers can be. 

Monday, 11 January 2016

I wanna hold your hand

The westbound Piccadily line is not usually the epicentre of romance in London. There is much that is daydream inducing about trains- sleepers to say Cornwall or Scotland- and the tube has moments and stolen glances certainly, but post Christmas sale shoppers and tourists do not make my heart swell in general and on the Piccadilly line in particular (though they do sometimes make my blood pressure rise).

In the week after Christmas I ran onto an underground train bound for Heathrow, and saw an older couple sitting down. I didn't think a huge amount about them except that they were both very well turned out (well dressed older people make me feel enormously happy, I have no idea why). I was engaged in the slightly tricky task of not breaking a large glass  star Christmas ornament I had bought in Whole Foods by accident whilst I was waiting in the (long) queue. It was New Year's Eve so I also had emergency forgotten dinner party food items and I was feeling a bit stressed about getting home quickly. 

When I reach Hammersmith I have to change onto the District line- and as I changed over so did the couple. It was only then I noticed they'd obviously been shopping. As you'd expect the gentleman was carrying the bags, except for one which his wife was holding tightly;   it was tucked inside her coat to protect it from the (seemingly constant) rain.

When we reached Turnham Green the couple got up and her bag became visible, it was from Rigby and Peller- bra makers to the Queen no less. So Mr and Mrs Piccadily line had been lingerie shopping on New Year's Eve- a younger man and I exchanged knowing smiles. 

I hope when I'm in my seventies my husband takes me lingerie shopping and holds my hand as we walk home.