Sitting on a train on a dreary Thursday afternoon is not exactly my idea of fun. Looking at the empty fields as the rain lashed the windows made me think of the days I had ahead. Just three days until I run the London Marathon. How depressing would it be if I had this weather to suffer as I trudged the wet streets, soaked through. I got back to reading this weeks ShortList that I had borrowed from the old lady next to me. I was a tad annoyed by her, as she had taken it upon herself to sit in the window seat, which I always go out of my way to book. I was a tad anal when it came to long train journeys. Windows seats meant no trolley slamming into my knees. Or children. Or bags.
As we reached Stevenage, the old lady woke up. "Is this London?" she said, groggily. "No, London is next". "Oh good, was worried I had missed it..." She carried on looking at me. Oh god. It was one of THOSE old people. Who talk at you about allotments, and those knitted things that sit on toilet rolls. But I was totally wrong. And what she said I could never have anticipated. She had 5 children. One had gone to Cambridge University. One Bristol, one Oxford, one Durham, and one hadn't gone to university. And each one of them had achieved huge things. One of her two daughters had climbed Mount Everest. One helped build numerous towns across Africa. You get the picture. She was on her way to London to meet her son and fly to New York for ten days. I told her she was lucky (through gritted teeth, the jammy mare) and she said she was excited to return to the city she last went to twenty five years ago and showed me something amazing; her journal from the last time she was there. In it were the contact details of around ten Americans, from all around New York and the surrounding states. I studied it, glimpsing into her life and then, all of a sudden, she asked me a very important question. "What do you think I should do?" I didn't know what to say. This woman, who I had just met, was asking what she should do in regards to her personal journal, from decades ago.
"Contact them. You've got ten days, it's more than enough to at least call each one, maybe see a few". I knew as soon as I said it that she agreed. "You're right" she confirmed. "I'm going to. I regret not keeping in contact from the start, and I cant turn away this opportunity. Thank you". We pulled into Kings Cross and I lugged our cases off the train. After, she shook my hand, wishing me luck for the weekend and I strolled away, feeling content and warm. I felt like I made a difference to her, but she was unaware how much of difference she made to me. At that point, I realised how much more I should value the ease of being able to keep in contact with my friends. You. Reading this. Even this insignificant blog is helping us keep in contact and glimpse into each others lives. So to you, thank you. Whoever you are, lets keep in touch.
Over and out.