My Stage is the World

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive

Eggcelent Easter

The Easter holidays mean that hundreds of people think it’s OK to travel on the tubes at rush hour. I work near Victoria and of course Billy Elliot and Wicked matinees both finish about 5.30 and they all try to cram onto the tube. Children hate crowds and parents are forcing these poor little kids onto packed trains full of stressed businessmen. The answer? Follow the advice of the ticket man and WALK. Oh wait, April Showers…

7.30am – posh man tells his colleague that his house is indeed close to the station. In fact after it was built in the 1800s the original owner had the station purposefully built, so that he could get to London quickly. Yes – Haslemere is home to the largest community of First Class commuters. Sadly I am not one of them.

8.30am (Waterloo) – train announcer “…and I can hear the Westbound train coming in now, which is going to… oh no wait, that’s going the wrong way. Oh here it comes… no – yes! Stanmore ladies and gentlemen!”

8.40am (Green Park) – I almost get whacked in the face by a rucksack so do a backbend on the escalator. Two people applaud me and someone wolf whistles

8.50am (Victoria) – people are actually asleep in blankets outside the Apollo waiting for it to open so they can buy tickets to see Wicked

5.50pm (Bond Street) – I go up a deserted escalator only to find myself walking into a sea of disgruntled commuters who are waiting for it to become a down escalator so they can get to the tube

6pm (Embankment) – Evening Standard man makes everyone’s day by talking Cockney rhyming slang and shouting “Free Standad laydees and gents”

6.05pm (Embankment) – it starts snowing which surprises me until I realise it’s actually a mixture of blossom and some lady’s cigarette ash

6.15pm (Charing Cross) – some man trips over nothing and falls spectacularly in a heap on the floor, only to sit up in hysterics

New experiences

  • I had my first burger from GBK – lamb (which I swapped for chicken) something burger with houmous and cucumber raika. I liked it!
  • I bought lunch from the canteen – chicken risotto at a bargain price of £1.80
  • I had my hair cut
  • I wore gold jewellery
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Food for thought

For a 3 day week I’ve been a busy bee – watching everything and everyone closely. As a writer, observation is crucial as anything could be a potential lead, give rise to a story or article. You see people who could easily be caricatured for a book, overhear anecdotes you’ll treasure forever and share moments with fellow passengers. I hate to admit it, but there are good sides to commuting.

I was eavesdropping on the train and overheard a man explaining to his friend how he and his wife weren’t having children. He wanted them, but she didn’t… yet. He loved her so much, that he was sacrificing his dream to be a daddy. It really made me think. Yes, I want kids – some day – but people who don’t want children shouldn’t be judged. There are so many unwanted children in the world that it’s good if people who don’t want them, don’t have them.

In the Evening Standard yesterday, there was an article about poor children going to school starving. It really touched my heart. I needed to get involved. I’ve spent most of my life battling with food, obsessing over it, avoiding it and using it as both a punishment and a reward. These children have nothing.

I’ve offered my support to Kids Company and am going to see about volunteering when I have days off; they will also be my charity for any races I undertake this year.

I love children and they all deserve a good start in life. I know what it’s like to be hungry: you’re tired and grumpy and you just can’t concentrate. Donating money’s all very well, but I want to be useful and see the effects first hand.

Someone suggested I ran for NEDA, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. Yes they deserve support, but I’m trying to forget that part of my life and move on. It’s always going to be there lingering, but my time should go to those that are suffering undeservedly and have no choice.

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