Waterloo

I was away at the weekend visiting my close friend P and her family.  I can’t remember the last time I saw her or my god-daughter so I was really looking forward to it.

As I had some time to kill before my train was announced I thought I would sit and pass the time away by indulging in one of my favourite pastimes of people watching, and like any other main London terminus, Waterloo is extremely busy so there is always something to see and hear.

Therefore, in no special order I give you the poetry of feet from:

People rushing, or not, pulling suitcases and bags or struggling with bags over shoulders trying to juggle ticket, coffee, food and mobile phone, sometimes not successfully.  Oops!  Another coffee for you sir?

The rows of trains in their South Western livery of blue, red and gold looking remarkably clean for a change.

A couple of staff in their high Vis vests, chatting to a concourse cleaner, whose rubbish sack bulges with the dirty mix of discarded cups, fast food bags etc that he has picked up.

Assorted prams and pushchairs, kids either in them (some asleep, some looking around) or walking beside them, their hands firmly held in their parents grip, some of the dads wearing every year’s accessory of a child on their shoulders.

A line of Converse All Stars snaking past me, belonging to the foreign students who have no idea and probably give even less of a shit that they are in one of the most exciting and wonderful cities in the world.

The queues of people trying to use the ticket machines, pressing the wrong buttons and then having to run to get their train.

A rucksack and high heels, not a clever mix on this occasion, watching her totter about trying to balance herself, the back of her top riding up to reveal the skin of her back.

The multitude of day trippers, weekend visitors, and grandparents happy to be visiting their families, excitement on their faces.

People munching on greasy pastries that were cooked a long time before they bought them, and the smell of coffee wafting past my nose.

Those familiar green Marks & Spencer bags bulging with the train picnic, a sandwich, crisps, drink, chocolate, sushi…?

Pigeons fluttering down to land, only to be chased off and land again a few feet away.

Sports fans in their team’s strip, cracking open tins of beer and loudly taking the piss out of each other, full of testosterone and up for the game and anything else that comes their way.

Bicycles; various shapes being walked by their owners because you are not allowed to ride on the concourse.

A copy of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar flash past me to catch their train because the queue was too long in WH Smiths and they now have to rush.

One man walking on prosthetic legs, a casualty of Afghanistan?  Is this the immediate
conclusion we come to when we see these people now?

A group of female Morris Dancers, their multicoloured ribbons fluttering in the air as they walk.

The people who discard their unwanted rubbish; the ‘I don’t care, it’s not my problem’ brigade.

And me, getting up to board my train, getting lost within the crowd.  I hope your weekend was as good as mine.

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