Friday, 30 July 2021

Tentative Steps


I took a train to the City of London yesterday.  Less than half and hour from my house to Liverpool Street station.  I've not been on a train or any public transport since well before lock-down in 2020.

The trains are different now.  The seats run parallel either side of the train and you can see right down through the carriages.  There are information screens and charge points for digital devices.  There are bendy sections between the carriages.

The station looked different to last time I passed through.  Machines that once dispensed drinks, sweets and crisps and even longer ago - cigarettes,  now offered disposable masks, gloves and hand sanitizing gels.  Everything looked clean and litter free and - sanitized.

A surreal experience and although not exceptionally busy I felt as though I had woken from a long coma and entered a new reality.

I remembered the station toilets as being smelly places frequented by drug users.  There was a small change charge to use them and you had to go through a turnstile to gain access.  Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to see that the toilets were easily accessible with no outer doors - just doors to the cubicles.  The toilet flush, soap, water and hand dryer were all touch free.  It was hygienic and well maintained.

Outside the station, I wandered around Spitalfields and Bishopsgate.  A market was taking place selling handcrafted items, clothes, vintage and antique goods.  A trader smiled and told me there was no charge for looking.

Towards lunchtime it started getting increasingly busy in the market and my son and I legged it across to the falafal shop where we had lunch and watched the world go by.

I stocked up on some Montezuma chocolate in the shop next door before we made our way back to the station.

An albeit brief visit to London,  it was my first tentative steps getting back into society again.  Overwhelming sensory experience had me sleeping like a baby on my return.


  1. Awe I'm glad you had a great day Simone and that it was all a positive experience!
    V x

  2. I'm so happy you had a nice day! It must be wonderful to be close enough to easily be able to spend a day there. I love hearing about it as it is a city I will never have the opportunity to see. x

    1. Hi Bonnie! Yes, although I live in Greater London (the outer perimeter of London)it is still relatively easy for me to reach the City and from then on pick up the tube train for other parts of London. When I was a child I lived closer to the city centre and could see the top of St Paul's Cathedral from my upstairs kitchen window. I will try to do more London posts for you! x

  3. I love your description of your journey, Simone. It's good to take those first tentative steps back into the busy world again. Glad to hear that some things, although changed, have improved. I never thought of vending machines with masks and etc in them but so useful. I like the decription of the market and falafal shop too. Glad you had a good day:)

    1. Hi Rosie! I was pleasantly surprised to see that some things had changed for the better! I think you would have like it around the area. There were many places to sit and eat a packed lunch and pubs and restaurants with people eating al fresco. Clean spacious toilets to hand are also useful too! The falafals were delicious. :)


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