Jumping on the train and i'm sitting next to a very hot little boy and his Dad. He is helping Dad in the city today and he's hot and bothered but chatting away. The trains are packed and it isn't even rush hour yet so despite being boiling Dad scopes him up onto his lap and jokes that he needs his help to hide his sweat patches. The grateful lady taking the vacant seat immediately joins our chat and starts handing out baby wipes like sweeties. Before long they have disappeared down the carriage into a fog of grateful passengers.
Except today, on the hottest day of the year, I saw nothing but acts of kindness.
So I love to people watch, it's one of my favourite parts of commuting. It all started at 9am this morning. It was already 20 degrees and as i arrived at London Liverpool Street station i was expecting to see some seriously fed up commuters. The rising heat was already delaying over ground trains and more then a few of us were running late for work already.
Yet i wasn't met with a concourse of frazzled commuters, instead i watched amused as a random gentleman in a well pressed suit took bottles of cold water to the barrier staff, wished them a good day and went on his way.
Less then 10 Minutes later on my walk to meeting number one i watched commuter after commuter offering members of the homeless community bottles of water.
A quick outside lunch and I watched complete strangers laughing together sharing the tiny bits of shade we could find or huddled with the few lucky people who had hand held fans.
Roll on late afternoon and like many i am thinking i will escape London slightly ahead of rush hour. On the way back to the station an elderly lady collapsed in front of me. Of course i stop, but so do at least 15 other people. As a nurse i have been in this position many times, but never with so many people stopping to help. The lady in question is clearly incredibly unwell and yet in the few minutes i take to start first aid others have gathered an umbrella to shield the sun, called an ambulance and grabbed cold compresses. Plus more glasses of cold water from the local pub then you can imagine. As she is blue lighted to hospital i learn one of the women who stopped to help missed her paid ticket home and would need to buy another one (don't worry the police sorted her out a pass) and the gentleman who had staid and helped me and the paramedics was in fact on his way to a wedding rehearsal before tomorrows big day. Dear friendly stranger, i hope you made it in time, and if you didn't i hope your fiance forgave you.
Back to the station and the heat has melted the track like cheese on toast, trains are delayed or cancelled all together and the station is boiling. Waiting around with my obligatory ice-cream i watch a little girl going between the police officers on duty and handing out choc ices from a little tesco bag, a smile on her face and a wave for everyone.
Act's of kindness galore today. On a day when i had expected to see the city at it's grumpiest i found it at it's kindness. The sun seemed to bring out the best in British and Community. But there was still one to go. In my now standing position a very nice gentleman offers to get my bottle out of my backpack as there isnt room to swing it off my back. Gratefully accepting he hands me my water and reminds me gently in this heat, keep your bottle in your hand at all times.eared down the carriage into a fog of grateful passanegers.
Next stop down the track and a group of older ladies have made it on to the already crowded carriage. Now, anyone who has ever travelled on a busy London train knows that despite the signs and the common sense of giving up your seat, people are more likely to divert their eyes or feign sleep. But not today. Today no fewer then 10 people got to their feet to play a sticky version of musical chairs.
Act's of kindness galore today. On a day when i had expected to see the city at it's grumpiest i found it at it's kindness. The sun seemed to bring out the best in British and Community. But there was still one to go. In my now standing position a very nice gentleman offers to get my bottle out of my backpack as there isn't room to swing it off my back. Gratefully accepting he hands me my water and reminds me gently in this heat, keep your bottle in your hand at all times.
Thank you sir