For the past four months, I have travelled to work by bus. One to Old Street, then a connection to King’s Cross. The first part takes me over London Bridge and into the Square Mile and I lazily gaze out of the window, watching everything and everyone as the bus moves on.
Now, that journey has ended, for the time being at least, as my temp job ended yesterday. My thoughts about the people and places I have seen, will stay preserved here.
Starting from London Bridge, passing the Shard; that glassy tower that has engulfed the station and surrounding area. The silver dragon marks the entrance to the Square Mile, proudly displaying the City of London’s Coat of Arms.
The view on either side of the bridge. To the left you can see St Paul’s to the right, Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast. Beautiful and I always try to turn my head both ways to see as much as I can. And if the sun is out, then see the glints of those morning rays bouncing off the buildings and the Thames.
The Fishmongers’ Company: that grand building on the river front with many, what look like to be, coats of arms or other such charters, hanging on the wall and glimpsed through the windows.
Monument: tall. Marking a time when London was nearly completely destroyed by fire.
Round the corner continuing on King William St, past the Japanese asset management company, watching someone half heartedly dust the railings and the steps. Flicking the litter off the property with a long-handled feather duster. He looks bored and perhaps thinks this job is beneath him.
The boys in blue anoraks, who give out the City AM free paper. Jumping on buses to put a pile down for the passengers and giving a cheery cry of thanks to the driver. Standing with their arms out as the people automatically reach to grab a copy. No words are exchanged between them and the public.
The lady with the black Labrador. They are who I looked out for everyday, and I would see them from about King William St to Old St and beyond, but my second bus always parted company with her by then… She, in her daily attire of a short skirt, tights, boots, a short jacket and a floppy hat, drinking a tall coffee from a company that has no concept of how good coffee should taste! Her trusty four-legged companion trotting by her side, looking up at her every now and then until an interesting smell catches his attention. His coat glossy and black as jet and seeing him/her made me smile.
The key cutting/shoe repair shop always open that early with him at the back starting on the work load and she at the front dealing with the city gents offloading their mound of white shirts for dry cleaning. Expecting them to be clean and pressed by the time they are collected.
The large M & S at Moorgate, open well before eight in the morning, and people are browsing the clothes and going downstairs to the food section.
Sleepy night security guards who wait for the morning receptionists, yawning and waving hello to the early morning arrivals, who struggle to get their security pass out with everything else they are holding.
At Finsbury Square, the large cranes of the construction site, lying idle and still, as the masses walk by on the pavement beneath them. These people clutching their coffees and bags of pastries and checking their mobile phones. Must read this email, must read this text message, must read this email, must read this text message…
Then onto Old Street where I would change buses. Passing the Honourable Artillery Company, and while waiting, sometimes peeking through the locked gate to Bunhill Fields. Fascinated by the old, moss-covered graves and every time making a mental note to come here one day and walk around this ancient area.
And on the second bus, approaching the large roundabout at Old Street and wondering about the Chinese café on the corner, missing two of its Louvre window panes. It never looks like it is open for business but the two gold maneki-neko or welcoming lucky cats, are always waving their paws to beckon you in.
Continuing on the City Road towards Angel. Watching the hoards of young school girls so inadequately dressed for winter. Experimenting with make-up and seeing how short they can make their skirts. Odd hair styles and busy texting on their mobiles. Rushing to become women and wave goodbye to their childhood. Ah, puberty! You are a strange creature.
The rows of elegant houses that line the City Road up to the Angel. They look Georgian to me. Many of them now offices of course, but how lovely it would be to have a whole five-storey building to yourself! Just me then…
Down Pentonville Rd and to my stop and a short walk to the café I went to every morning for a white Americano coffee. And a Full Monty breakfast – but that was only on a Friday.