7.7: One Day In London


I came to London for the first time

in 1961. 1961.

My husband thinks I should actually

have some sort of pearly outfit.

I'm from York, so North Yorkshire,

so the sort of hardest part

of Yorkshire.

All of my family

are Arsenal supporters.

Myself and my youngest son Harry,

we're the black sheep of the family,

we follow Spurs.

My first memories of London were

coming to London for the weekend,

and the family would kind of,

we'd have a weekend down in the city,

where the main event

was to go and see a show

in the West End,

which I was always

very, very excited about.

It's just too congested,

it's just too much noise,

there's just too much going on.

London to me

was all about Duran Duran,

and tea and biscuits,

probably the Royal family.

In London you can lose your identity

and be anybody you want to be,

I suppose.

To move to a city like London,

which is so accepting and, you know,

there's huge diversity, it seemed

like an ideal place for me to go

and set up my life, really.

The International Olympic Committee

has the honour of announcing

that the Games of the 30th Olympiad

in 2012

are awarded to

the City of London!

Well, that day,

I travelled to my local station,

and my daughter was with me,

she was about 12 at that time,

and normally

she would walk to school.

But because we were so excited

about the Olympics,

she said,

"Mum, I'll see you to the train."

I just thought, "Oh, I could do with

"another ten minutes in bed,"

so I reset my alarm and thought

I'd just get the later train,

the overground train.

My habit has always been

to arrive early.

I don't like being late.

Perhaps it's a personality defect.

I can't do it.

It's only myself and my daughter

in the mornings,

with a bit of shouting,

managed to get breakfast down her,

and then we left out together,

because her school wasn't far

from the station that I go in to.

It was just a typical morning for me

except that I had a lot on my mind

because I knew

we were going to start

this big move of the library

following day.

So I came in half an hour earlier

than I normally do.

So she walked me to the station,

and I saw a train the station,

and I thought, "I'm not running

for that one, I'll get the next one.

"It can wait." So I was talking

to her, I said goodbye to her,

and I caught the next train

into work.

I've been commuting for

10, 15 years, or more, now.

Generally people don't talk very

much to their fellow commuters.

Sometimes you get a group of people

chatting to each other,

and then you'll notice other

commuters looking over at them,

wishing that they would be quiet.

Because they just want to

tuck into their newspaper or book.

It's just like, "Excuse me.

Excuse me. Excuse me!"

You know, I mean,

nine times out of ten

they're usually a tourist anyway,

so they don't understand

the etiquette of tube behaviour.

So I would look around, and try

and get a smile out of someone,

or give someone a smile -

something like that anyway. Yeah.

Sometimes some people

think you're a bit weird.

I suppose they're all

people going somewhere.

I have no painting skills whatsoever,

but I love doing this.

I love colours,

I love bright colours.

Here's the people going somewhere,


I think

there's this thing in me that,

I don't really want to be counselled

out of where I am at the moment.

It may sound a bit odd, you know,

but I don't want to...

It's as if I'm going to be

counselled out of not...

thinking about my son,

you understand?

So I tend to...

I tend to do it this way.

For me, this is the best way

to do it.

It's almost, I still want to hold on

to part of the anger as well.

The angry feeling of my son

being taken away.

You know, and it's like

I need that part of it as well,

to keep me going.

Got off the Victoria line

at King's Cross

and I made my way

to the Piccadilly line.

And then an announcement was made

that there was going to be delays,

and in that space of a few minutes,

loads of people now started

to make their way onto the platform,

and then before I knew it, the

platform was heaving with people,

and the train still hadn't come in.

So yeah, ran straight to the top,

and the way that

Moorgate tube station is,

the escalator's at the top,

and then I did a right and then

you're immediately on the platform.

And then... a tube

was coming into the platform,

and I thought, "What a result!"

And then at 8:
48, the train came in.

Couldn't get a seat.

So I sort of went to the right

and stood in front of the chairs,

but just a little way

from the doors.

It's only one or two stops

to travel like this,

where I couldn't raise my hands.

I think the bag I was carrying

was trapped

somewhere two or three feet

away from me,

so my left arm

was probably stretched out

and caught between two other people.

I mean, I'd travelled

on the underground at that time

for about 17 or 18 years, and I'd

never been on a train that packed.

I was looking round

the other passengers

because there was a chap

sitting opposite me,

James, I believe his name was,

who had caught my eye,

and so I was just looking

at the other passengers.

I'd finished reading the newspaper,

I wasn't listening to an iPod.

And the train

pulled out into the tunnel.

I remember the eastbound train

coming in the other direction,

on the tracks alongside us.

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Vincent Kok

Vincent Kok Tak-chiu (born 15 August 1966) is a Hong Kong actor, scriptwriter and film director. Vincent’s ancestral hometown is Shandong province. Kok is best known for his frequent collaborations with Stephen Chow, acting and co-writing with him the films Forbidden City Cop, From Beijing with Love and The God of Cookery in addition to producing and co-writing Chow's 2007 film CJ7. He also made a cameo appearance in Chow's Shaolin Soccer as a hapless soccer player. Kok also wrote, directed and starred alongside Jackie Chan in Gorgeous, a romantic comedy by the martial arts actor. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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