Travelling Back

 Routine is the enemy of the writer. When we go into work on the same route every day, or when we have the same meals day in day out, or watch the same television programmes day after day, we dull our minds with repetition.

So coming back from London and the previous night’s meeting yesterday morning, I was able to see the commuters with an outsider’s eyes, scurrying from home to work, the school-kids getting on with their uniforms cocooned in leather jackets. And the vertiginous stairs, the claustrophobia of the crowds of people shuffling along.

What struck me about the eateries at Paddington Station was how similar they all were, if one changed the individual food elements from pancakes to coffee and pastries to Full English: Lines of people queuing to buy, before sitting awkwardly, sharing their space with strangers who intersect their lives for no more than the few minutes necessary to gulp the purchases down.

And so onto the train, carrying me back to routine, but also to familiar surroundings and family and friends. Because while routine is the enemy of the writer, so is constant upheaval. The trick, as is so often the case, is too strike a balance between the two.

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• November 26th, 2010 • Posted in General • Comments: 0