Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Waiting For A Train At Paddington

I can see:
The curve of the station roof stretching into the distance
A flickering black and orange board announcing arrivals and departures
An Asian girl talking urgently into her mobile
A man concentrating intensly on what he's reading on his ipad
A young boy snuggling into his Mum
A large clock displaying the time
People eating at Yo! Sushi
Plants moving in the breeze
A sculpture of Paddington Bear
A group of people running to catch a train all trailing large suitcases behind them
The beautiful elegance of a conversation using sign langugage (I try not to stare as its considered rude within the deaf is the equivalent of evesdropping)

I can hear:
The rumble of a train approaching the platform
The screech of feedback on a microphone
The mumble of an announcement which is impossible to make out
That underlying hum which comes from being in a busy public place
A coffee machine grinding and hissing
The click of a pair of heels as a woman scurries pst
The theeeerrrrump theeeerrrump of the wheels on a suitcase hitting the ridges of the floor tiles
The rustle of a newspaper
Ice clicking together as the man next to me slurps his drink
A hushed, urgent sounding, conversation in a language I don't understand
Someone coughing
A couple arguing
The tinkle and clatter of someone dropping cutlery
A tut from somewhere behind me
A child crying

I can feel:
A slight tension in the air as people wait for their trains to be announced
A cold breeze moving the hair on the back of my neck and making me shiver
My and tired after a long day at the office
The weight of the book I am writing in
Heat from the arm of the man sitting next to me who is invading my personal space
My rucksack pushing against my leg as it is jammed in the tiny amount of space available between me and the table
The smoothness of the paper as my hand glides over it
The smooth satin of my coat lining contrasting with the rough wool of the outside as it brushes the top of my hand
A slight cramp in my hand from writing (So used to the computer now!)
Bubbles playing in my mouth as I sip my sparkling water
Time passing slowly as I wait

I can touch:
The embossed front of my notebook as it balances on my forefinger
The ridges of paper already scribbled on under my thumb
The faux leather of the chair that I'm sitting on
The glass of chilled water in front of me
The textured waterproof fabric of my rucksack

I can smell:
The oil and dirt of machines
The stale sweat of the man sitting next to me
Frying food
Liberally applied perfume or aftershave...I'm not sure which
Something sweet and slightly sickly
The aroma of freshly ground coffee
An acrid hint of stale cigarette smoke

I can taste:
A hint of lemon from the slice that is in my water
The slightly bitter aftertaste of coffee

(I did some blind contour drawing after I had written this (including the one here) so pop over to Art Is Autobiographical to see them. They will be appearing over the next couple of days)


  1. Carol, I feel as if I'm sitting with you and drinking in all the sights and sounds. Loved this!

  2. Talon - I'm glad you liked it! It certainly helped me pass the fact, when I was doing the drawing, my train was called...I nearly missed it!

    C x

  3. Great! This is such a useful exercise - it helps us to look beneath the surface of things, to think 'critically.' And especially to be present in the moment, and there are all kinds of great reasons to do that, not only creative!

  4. I like these word pictures and as I travel so often from Paddington I can sense it already. These are standard writing exercises (though I can 'feel' is new to me) and it's possible to add to the list something like ' I desire' ... and usually when in Paddington, that's for the departures board to change and the journey to begin. Have a great Easter.

  5. WOW can you write!!!!!

    And if I say more than that, YOU'LL have proof that I cannot! LOL

  6. I could picture/feel/hear everything you posted. Wonderful!

  7. This was lovely to read...just lovely.


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