Today the whole city laboured under yet another Tube strike. For the regular bus traveller like me, this normally doesn’t cause too much inconvenience. The bus is generally a bit fuller and it takes a bit longer as the whole of London climbs into its cars and onto its bikes and tries to navigate to work.
But this morning was horrendous. I got on a bus at 8.15am. At 9.45am I was only two and a half miles further down the road. I could have walked it faster. But I had another five miles to go and at that rate I would have arrived at lunchtime and finished my book.
My boss very kindly gave me permission to work from home, and I got off the bus to walk home.
On the stairs a man stepped aside to let me pass. I smiled in thanks and he followed me down the stairs and off the bus.
‘Are you giving up?’ he asked.
‘My boss says I can work at home, so I’m turning back.’
We had a bit of idle chat about the strike and the traffic. He asked me if I’m Australian or American, and I told him No, I’m from near Blackpool.
He said my accent was funny. Yes, I replied, some people think it is.
He was from Lille in France. At least I speak English with an English accent.
After a couple of minutes we parted ways, but first he asked me if he could give me his number. Apparently this is because I smiled at him, which is unusual. Even a polite smile is being interpreted as flirting these days.
Honestly! What is it about the 155?? I didn’t even have make up on at this point. It is, frankly, proving to be the best place to meet men in London, although they’re not always the kind of men I’d really want to meet…
Which is very convenient indeed.