Labour of love

Gonna withdraw my labour of love
Gonna strike for the right to get into your cold heart
Ain’t gonna work for you no more
Ain’t gonna work for you no more

Hue and Cry

There was a Tube strike yesterday in London and the whole city literally groaned. Strikes make life a little bit more complicated.

And maybe a little more creative. In the Evening Standard there was a large photograph of a man who looked in his late forties, fully suited up, leading a surge of walkers on a scooter, an expression of supergrim determination on his face. It was a creative solution to an inescapable problem.

I took a different route to work yesterday too. I always take the bus but the less imaginative of us city dwellers had decided to drive and the traffic meant the buses were backing up along the road in front of my flat. So I took the train to Victoria and a different bus that dropped me off right outside where I work.

We spend so much of our time under ground that amazingly quite a few people don’t know their way around above ground in London. I’ll be honest – when one woman on my bus asked where we were as we drove past Marble Arch onto Oxford Street and we had to tell her ‘Um… Marble Arch’ I did feel a bit smug that I at least have a vague sense of the geography. And can recognise a giant landmark when I see one.

To compensate for my pride, I decided to be uber-helpful. It’s nice that the normally silent get to share community by asking for help. And in a backwards way I was grateful for the strikes because it was a properly lovely day to see London above ground – low September sunshine and a route past some of the city’s highlights.

Even though they made my normal bus journey longer, it’s satisfying that those other people got to see what I do every morning.

The strike’s over now and we’ve all gone back to normal. I wonder if they’re all crammed on the Tube wistfully dreaming of yesterday’s journey? If they’ve forgotten the stress of the strike and are remembering how much they enjoyed the view…

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