My train arrived early, the 7 minutes that the indicator told me i would have to spend waiting on a cold windy platform, evaporating in front of my eyes. I found a seat, sat down and then heard the announcement ‘this train terminates here’ so off I got, but only a few came with me. Welcome to commuting sponsored by Apple, nobody else heard the announcement as they enjoyed the private oblivion afforded them by their music. It was fascinating to watch as more people poured through the small crowd on the platform and boarded the train, I should note that all trains follow the same route from this platform, blissfully unaware that it was out of service. Eventually frustration overcame the crowd on the platform and they boarded the train to encourage the music listeners to depart. Now I’ve heard, but never experienced, people with headphones walking out in front of cars but I’ve never experienced anything quite like this, it was like the march of the zombies as new arrivals completely ignored the crowd to board a train that was not in service.
I have to admit that I listen to music on the journey as well but I never have it so loud that I cannot hear the announcements, even if I only hear that one is being made and then extract an earphone, and when something looks odd like a crowd of people not boarding a train I immediately extract one side so that I can hear. As I continued my journey I wondered on the consequences of traveling in isolation, what if the train had just stopped and passengers had fled a psychopath with a knife? You wouldn’t even hear his rants before he stabbed you and you bled out listening to gangsta rap. There will be people that have a good grounding in first aid listening to Iron Maiden while the person next to them chokes to death? Perhaps this is just my age kicking in and tainting the observation though, is it actually that these sound isolated individuals are the new heroes in our new self obsessed society? Will future headlines shout out to us:
“Gun wielding maniac barged to the floor by have a go hero! Hero says ‘I was listening to Alicia Keys and didn’t see him'”
or will our inherent British values win out and having barged the gunman to the floor will the headlines read:
“commuter apologised and returned fallen gun to robber before the slaughter began”
I have to share with you one of those rare things that makes me truly emotional, I popped out for a couple of pints last night despite the wicked wind on the coast and met a couple that I’ve not seen for a while and they are foster parents. This couple foster young babies and they are fantastic at it, I’ve never seen them with an angry or unhappy child and Alicia their current ward was gorgeous and contented. Every time I see these guys I am seriously moved by what they do, they take in young babies, love them and look after them and then happily wave them into a new life with adoptive parents, that takes a commitment that I couldn’t find. Alicia came to them at 7 weeks old, I won’t go into the madness that means that parents can end up with their child in care at just 7 weeks, and in June the courts will decide her future, imagine giving up your sweet innocent ward at that point? The foster parents have a good logic and understand that the babies are not bonding at that age so much as they are happy to be secure, loved and provided for and they know that the adoptive family will have been well vetted and look after her, despite this I couldn’t do it. I take my hat of to them for what you do there really can’t be any more altruistic actions and to be able to see their smiley happy wards brightens my view of the world considerably.
That we live in a world that generates a need for foster parents where birth parents are alive and technically capable reaffirms my belief that if evolution is real we will evolve to grow into fertility at 30 because the gift of life is so horribly wasted by so many.