I've been travelling again, not so far, but I find wherever you go, irrespective of distance, you can observe stories.
I could start at the end as an example. A couple of seats away from where I was seated there were three girls travelling with me from London King's Cross to Mirfield. They looked to be in their early twenties and were very chatty. They were so chatty in fact they kept much needed sleep at bay for 200 miles! However, they were an inspiration in a variety of ways.
Firstly, they were an indicator of a type of person representing their age in the way they related with each other. For example, the way they conversed was fascinating. To begin with although there were three of them quite often there were four or five people talking. Two of the trio travelled with mobiles in hand and continually referred to them and what was being said on social media sites as well as between the girls themselves.
Secondly, what they were saying about their lives and futures was a very modern view and different from my experience. A difference of over 40 years.
Finally, there interactions with those around them was refreshingly accepting of all. They were sharing one booth with a young white male who never removed his earphones for the whole trip and one of the three with an Asian lady and her baby son. It was great the way that they accepted people as people irrespective of race or sex, but that was tempered slightly by a disturbing view of authority. The train guard, now apparently called 'managers', was the only symbol of that authority. One of the girls was putting her feet on the chair opposite and he asked her not to twice but and on the third he even suggested she removed her shoes, but the attitude was that of a recalcitrant child at school.
Because I write I feel my observations have become more intensified and purposeful. The above is not new or that remarkable but the possibilities of using the situation as part of a story are almost infinite.
I've blown this up large enough for you to be able to see the title. This spoof on the Mona Lisa is a poster pasted to the tiles on the inside wall of the toilet cubicle on the train. It is a pun as it says the painting is from the Loo-vre. Who makes the decisions to do this sort of thing? There's nothing wrong in the presentation but how was it decided upon?
Belgium is one of those countries you go to if you work with a big corporation in that land or the EU, or perhaps that you pass through. However, my younger son lives on the outskirts of Brussels and has taught me more about the country than I previously knew. In amongst the interesting stuff about Belgians not having a driving test and special situations on Sundays and so on, I spotted the big plastic dog on the veranda of the house in the town of De Hahn on the Belgian coast. It wasn't the first brightly coloured plastic animal I'd spotted. There were a couple of giraffes, one yellow and the other green, and a yellow lion I saw in dwellings and outside shops. There is nothing wrong with such pieces of art, I assume, but they are very large and bright and have an almost Pythonesque existence. The person responsible for the works is probably a millionaire.
You here about these things, selfie's, which I avoid taking until this weekend when I took a couple. When I'd returned from Belgium, and between trains, I visited the Natural History Museum in London. You see lots of people taking such photos but I felt awkward taking this one. Of course the purpose of the photo is to advertise your presence in front of something or someone of significance. Well the one above is of the dinosaur in the foyer of the museum which I took because the dinosaur is to be dismantled soon. Also I could send it to my daughter who also loves this museum. Inspirational!
In the last two days, apart from things I've seen, and by the way if you have never been to Leuven its worth half a day look, I have seen people interacting and that has been inspirational.
Yours truly with Giant Sloth
As a writer be true to yourself and observe as you travel your world irrespective of size.