A Story in a Single Image

The Blogging University “Everyday Inspiration” prompt for today is “A Story in a Single Image” – encouraging you to look at a selection of photos accompanying their email, and use them as inspiration to pollute the internet a little more with your unique brand of idiocy.

The photo accompanying this post isn’t theirs – it’s mine. They had a photo of Grand Central Station in New York – mine is of Paddington Station in London. Those that have never visited will be pleased to discover there is a beautiful bronze statue of Paddington Bear in a quiet corner of the station, looking rather windswept and lost.

Long time readers of my adventures will know how often I navigate the railway network through London – they will also know how bittersweet my various adventures have been. As mentioned a few days ago, I spent the greater part of two years arriving and departing from Paddington Station – before either vanishing into the depths of the London Underground, or escaping off across the fields towards home – hopefully in time for tea and medals.

The big stations in London are like cities withing the city. Each train that arrives delivers hundreds or even thousands of new passengers onto the walkways and escalators – rivers of people – all going somewhere.

One weekend while waiting for an Underground train beneath Paddington with my eldest daughter, I pointed across at the sea of faces on the opposite platform.

“Just think – each of those people has a family – parents, grandparents, children perhaps. They all live in different houses, in different towns, and have different hopes and dreams.”

“I never thought of that before”

Shortly afterwards a train came barreling through the tunnel on their side. When it pulled away, they were gone.

Even though the big railway stations are huge, and loud, and busy, and stressful, I can’t help feeling there is something tremendously romantic about them. St Pancras has a huge statue of a couple kissing that towers above the parallel departure platforms. I have always wondered if the couple of greeting each other, or saying goodbye.

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