It is early in the morning and yet, the sky is already a bright, azure blue. Today I am attending a training session in town and therefore I have to catch an early train. I amble up the short distance from my house to the station. On the way there a brisk and chilly breeze reminds me that I was wise to don my scarf, gloves and flat cap today.
The road I am on will lead me to the market and through it to the overground
station. Along the way I pause every now and then to contemplate my local
First it is the now vacant space where the Indian takeaway used to be until
a year ago. They cooked good, proper Asian grub here and delivered the food to
your door with a smile on their faces. But the prices were not competitive
enough and the business went bust. I can see now that the place where the
takeaway stood is being done up. Another eatery, perhaps? Next up is the old hairdresser’s
and straight after that, the new barber shop. The former caters mainly to
seniors and the latter is always full of young men. The hairdresser’s,
long-established in the area, hints at longevity and tradition whilst the barber
shop points at the future: big screen television broadcasting the Premier
On my right now is the Greek Orthodox Church. This magnificent, red-brick
building takes more than half a block. I remember going in once when my mother
visited me for the first time and marvelling at the richly decorated interiors.
I reach the train station. I still recall the times when this used to be the
start of my journey as a commuter. Before the new ticket barrier was installed
there was a guy from the local newsagents with a small stall selling newspapers.
Branching out, you could say he was doing. Do not bother to walk the long(er)
distance to the shop, I’ll bring newspapers and magazines to you. The vendor
and his stand might be gone but I still see the guy who hands out free copies
of The Watchtower outside the station.
There was a time during my commuting days when there used to be him, another
bloke distributing the Socialist Workers’Party newspaper and, inside the station, our newsagent friend flogging
copies of The Daily Mail. Three publications
advertising the end of days. For the Jehovah’s Witnesses behind The Watchtower, it was the apocalypse,
for the burghers of the SWP it was the demise of capitalism (just don’t mention
Stalin, please) and for the Daily Hate
the collapse of British (English, in reality) culture and traditions.
My train arrives within minutes. I look up before entering the carriage. The
sky is still a bright, azure blue. Spring is here.
Photo taken from the Guoman Hotels website
Next Post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published
on Sunday 23rd March at 10am (GMT)