My life in the middle of a field fifty miles north of the capital is a world away from the density of housing and traffic above the metros network of tunnels transporting the population of this historic city of London to their destination's .
On this Sunday evening in July my journey would take me via Euston, the underground to Warwick Avenue and end at picturesque Little Venice. An evening lnvitation to supper with a film in a spacious third floor flat overlooking the canals and roofscapes of London was the occasion. Entirely
different to the quiet life I lead in the fields and landscapes which surround my home.
My search for companionship, new experiences and perhaps romance had lead me via "Film Night"(an education of film) to various venues in and around Soho where the films were shown and discussed.
The hosts for the evening, lovely Diana and Pat, two ladies with taste and style who had taken me under their wings during my many visits over the years to this metropolis and the numerous assents and decents on escalators l had watched and briefly studied the faces and styles of
the many nationalities who passed my stare on this transit system to the trains or surface exit.
So many interesting and beautiful people, I would never meet or even see again traveling in the opposite direction, heading for their destination. In those brief encounters l can not recollect one instance of eye contact, like strangers in the night or more poetically, passing by on the tube, hurrying in a subterranean mood.
A few glasses of wine taken with the film and supper had raised my spirit
and l left the gathering of film buffs with a spring in my step and a lady to escort to the Underground. We took trains in the opposite direction, not to worry, I thought I'm probably to old for her. Anyway I had just received a text message from a french lady I had met a few weeks before at friends house. Things were looking up l thought!
Warick Avenue to Euston means a change at Oxford Circus, back into the centre of town to enable my journey home. As we approached Edgware Road, l was wondering if l would make it to the last fast train home, it leaves at half past ten. Sunday night overnight working could also effect
the journey time and falling asleep was not beyond possibility.
It will take twice as long to get home if I miss it..The Bakerloo line at that time of night was not busy, seats to spare, with only a handfull of revellers looking for an allnighter at the Elephant and Castle, the majority, just like me, making their way home .A handfull of people alighted and similar number boarded, an elderly gent in evening dress, half asleep almost missed his stop, just managing to keep his balance as he alighted,.As was my nature, I was people watching, the underground is full of different
languages, skin colours and characters, it is an education just to be there! The train started to move and I became aware of a lady who had filled the seat beside me. Its difficult to look at the person in the seat next to you without causing offence, however I did notice trim legs in tightly fitting
jeans. Marylebone and Regents Park stops passed uneventfully. Both, the lady sitting next to me and few others Including myself raised ourselves in preperation for Oxford Circus stop.The blonde petite lady sitting next to me
alighted before me, turning in the direction of the Victoria line, her stylish black raincoat, just allowing elegant body movements to be brought to my attention, I followed her to the platform heading north, not really aware that I
was to end up standing alongside her. The next train to Walthamstow the sign read would be with us in five minutes.
For some unfathomable reason I was awkwardly aware of a desire to look into the face of person in the black raincoat, when to my complete surprise she turned towards me and said "you are a very stylish ."Her fresh faced smile, seemed honest and sincere, I responed with nervous excitement "you think so , thank you..."
In an unfamiliar accent she remarked" it was the shoes to begin with!" Two tone maroon brogues on that evening! Ì introduced myself with an adrenalin fueled confidence.
The train arrived at the platform, we boarded and sat together. There is only the one stop Warren Street, before Euston, apparently I opened up with my life story in those short moments between those two stops.
As I lifted my self from my seat I handed her my business card, shook her warm hand, and suggested my expertise as a guide and companion in London was available to her, if she hadn't been bored by my Life story! I pondered over my actions during the slow main line journey home. I had discovered little about the fair faced lady from Lithuania. I wasnt even sure where Lithuania was. All I was aware of was my excitement about meeting, what I hoped would be a new friend, in of all places the underground!
My phone notified me of a text as we passed slowly through Berkhamsted, the message read:
" Hello it was good to meet the man from the north of England, you learned so little about me, lady from north of London."
Keep cool, I thought, I really didn't know anything about her.
A couple of weeks later we arranged to meet at the Tate Gallery, this time she wore a white raincoat, to be sure I would recognise her! In the truly englishman's way I had arranged an afternoon tea in a hotel on the Thames. We talked for two hours and found that even though we came from very different backgrounds we had a lot in common.
Afterwards we made our way via the northern line to Euston where we parted with our first kiss. We both headed for our separate homes, one above, one below ground, both knowing - our first date was special...