‘Right we’re comin’ up to Paddington in a minute. Now there’s engineering works on the Hammersmith and City line here today, so don’t go wastin’ your time runnin’ off down to the platform expectin’ a train – because yus’ll have a long wait’.
I sat up and grinned. I hadn’t heard this lady since last June and was delighted to hear she hadn’t lost any of her joie de vivre.
‘So, I repeat, engineering works on that line. There’s also delays on the Jubilee line so if you’re gettin’ off at Baker Street, forget about tryin’ to go anywhere on it for the moment’.
‘Almost there. Remember when you get off: Mind. The. Gap.’
The journey was all too short and I departed the tube almost reluctantly knowing that the eloquent entertainment was bound to have continued.
The station concourse was teeming with people. I ran into an old acquaintance. ‘Heading home for Mother’s day?’ I asked. She nodded pointing at the large basket of pink roses under her arm. Everywhere was hustle and bustle – people running towards the flower stand, getting in line at the card shop and dashing onto packed trains.
Seats were rare but I managed to find one next to a man with a large bouquet of tulips pressed into the window beside him.
I thought about the morning so far: On the radio lots of requests for ‘the best Mum in the World’; I wondered if my favourite elusive tube driver was a Mum; I mused on the fact that everyone’s Mum was the best in the World and I contemplated what the quality was that they all shared that made them this.
I opened the car door and gave M a kiss. ‘Here, pop in and get a paper, would you’. I took the cash and went into the local shop. ‘I suppose the train was busy today?’ ‘Packed, M’ I replied. She drove us home and when we arrived there I walked in the door to delicious smells wafting from the kitchen.
I felt loved and understood, and instantly knew.