The story behind the story…………………….
Since becoming a mum over thirteen years ago I have developed the habit of travelling with food and drink just about every time I am on a train. It no longer feels right to set off without a few provisions.
It was whilst travelling to London one Saturday that I fell to chatting with a mum and her young son and we did indeed end up sharing a bar of Green and Blacks, has to be said one of my favourite chocolates.
So without further ado I give you…………….
Inner Peace, with two bars of Green and Blacks……………
Another Tuesday and another tedious train journey home, from London Bridge to Brighton.
It was the usual squash and discomfort of the 17:45 and Julianne knew she was highly unlikely to get a seat, so she reasoned far better to find a standing space and use the time to meditate and reflect on the finer points of life.
No real point, getting overly excited about the constant delays, lack of seats, lack of information and lack of space. Whatever you needed it was probably lacking when it came to this particular service.
So as her mind started to drift and soar, her breathing and heart rate slowed as she made herself as comfortable as she could in the crowded carriage.
However everything changed very quickly as the train juddered to a halt.
‘Oh what now?’ she thought, irritably.
Still this was fairly normal and most likely they would be on their way again in a few minutes. Better to resume her meditation and allow her mind to drift off again.
Except that after a few moments it became obvious that the train was not about to start start moving again soon – and now there was something being said over the tannoy.
“This is your driver – apologies for the delay, but we are being stopped at a red signal. We should be on our way again, very shortly”
‘Okay no need to panic, just another minor delay. Let’s see if I can make myself marginally more comfortable and get back to my daydream.’, thought Julianne.
‘Inner peace – that’s what I need to focus on and maybe a piece of the Green and Blacks from my bag. I’m glad I managed to pick up a couple of bars at lunch time.’ So with this in mind Julianne set to rummaging about in her bag, to locate her chocolate.
‘Breathe and it will all carry on as normal.’
However fifteen minutes later, the train was still not moving and by now it was becoming obvious to everyone that something a bit more serious was going on.
This shared, but largely unspoken view was confirmed when the driver spoke again.
“Sorry ladies and gents, it’s not great news. We are it seems going to be stopped here for a while longer. I can’t precisely say how long, but will confirm as soon as I know more”
This announcement, was all that was needed to produce a series of groans, moans and rolling of eyeballs as the passengers finally started talking to each other. Mainly sharing stories about past delays, lack of communication and so on and so forth.
Julianne on the other hand simply pulled out her bar of chocolate and proceeded to chomp her way through it.
It was while she was thoughtfully eating her second row that she felt a gentle tap on her arm and a voice ask
“Could I have a piece of that please?”
‘A bit cheeky’, thought Julianne, but she couldn’t think of any real and valid reason to just say no, especially as she did have another bar in her bag.
“Of course” she smiled with as much grace as she could muster.
“Help yourself” and she passed over the partially finished bar – she couldn’t quite see how she could just break off a small piece and hand it across.
“Thank you” – replied the young man, who had made the request. “I do normally carry something with me- but must have forgotten today”
“If there is a bit more to spare.” interrupted another voice “I could do with some too.”
‘What is this?’ Thought Julianne as she watched her bar disappearing through the carriage.
‘Am I the only person with the foresight to bring food with them?’
“Why don’t you open up the second bar?” Another voice called out cheerfully.
“Looks like we are going to be here for a little while yet”
‘Oh for goodness – how on earth did they know about that?’ – thought an increasingly exasperated Julianne.
Still she didn’t quite have the nerve to deny outright the existence of the second bar she had stashed in her bag. So she simply pulled it out – chipped off two squares for her own consumption and waved the rest of it around until a pair of hands took it and it again disappeared into the bowels of the carriage.
By now the train had been stopped for just over an hour, passengers had adjusted positions and generally tried to make themselves as comfortable as possible.
Julianne could hear low murmurs as people conversed and the occasional “mmmm, that was nice” as they consumed what she assumed to be her Green and Blacks.
‘Oh well’, – if a couple of bars of chocolate were helping to keep up morale on the train. Who was she to complain really? Tomorrow she would work from home and enjoy the bar of Green and Blacks sitting in her cupboard……
Until next time