People-watching at Paddington

Aunty and I sat in a café area at Paddington station, sipping deliciously-milky lattes, with our bags safely tucked under the table.

‘Do you love to watch people?’ she asked, peering over my shoulder. I knew I’d chosen the wrong side of the table.

It seems we have far more in common than a big nose. ‘Yes! It’s the best thing ever.’

‘Some extremely glam people here…’

I smoothed down my dress and flicked a stray lock of hair (well, one of them) behind my ear. ‘Love that about cities; such a mix.’

We were soon walking down Platform 10 and boarding the next train, with its almost deserted carriages and much bigger seats than the previous ones – they made me feel as if I’d shrunk in the wash!

As we passed Exeter, our eyes were drawn away from our books to the rolling Devonshire hills and then to the choppy sea. It was like the mirror image of North Wales, I thought: our southern home.

‘No one cares about the bits in between,’ Aunty joked. ‘Could you live anywhere that wasn’t by the sea?’

‘No, I need to be on the edge.’

‘Me too, so I can fall off if necessary!’

I laughed.

‘Look how misty it is,’ I said, leaning over her to get a better view from my aisle seat. ‘I sorta love it when it’s all stormy.’

‘You and me both,’ she replied. She pushed the opened St Ives guide booklet into my face, ‘Smell.’

I inhaled the glorious scent of new pages. It may have caught the makeup from my nose.

It began to get dark. The last man in our carriage alighted and, with no more people to watch, we both returned to our books.


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