Tag Archives: people watching

People Watching

On my fourth train of the day- at last! This one is taking me home after a long day.

Each of the four trains and four stations that I’ve travelled through today have been busy- yes, even at 6.25 this morning when the journey started.

Where do all these people come from and go to?

On the two trains this morning, I guess the majority were going to work, like I was, but where do they all work? What do they do for a living? Do they enjoy their jobs?

There was a wider variety of passenger on the two trains and in the three stations on the return leg of the journey.

I’ve been in Edinburgh (well, just outside of the city centre to be more precise) so the majority of folk who were crowded onto the first train of the evening were heading home from work. It was a packed rush hour train but I was lucky – I got a seat!

Glancing round, over the top of my kindle, I pondered what kind of day they’d all had? Were they as knackered as I was feeling at that point?

There were several people listening to their iPods. What were they listening to? Did any of them share the same taste in music as me? Were they in fact listening to an audiobook and not music?

Others, like me, were reading their kindles. What plot twist were they caught up in?

The gentleman opposite me was doing neither. He was wearing mirrored aviator sunglasses and sat watching me the whole way to Glasgow. It felt a little creepy and I was relieved when he didn’t get off at the same stop as me. Whew!

When the train stopped at Glasgow’s Queen St station it was easy work out where a large proportion of the passengers were going to. There was a sea of black on the platform heading for the exit – black leather, black denim, black eye make-up, black hair and Black Veil Brides t-shirts. Andy Black, aka Andy Biersack front man with BVB is playing a solo show at the O2 Academy in Glasgow as I type. (For my rock chick friends who are there – hope it’s a great gig!)

It’s been a glorious spring day today so the city streets were filled with late night shoppers and folk enjoying an al fresco meal or just a few drinks with friends in the early evening sun.

Jealousy was kicking in around about this point as I was both hungry and thirsty but I had a final train to catch.

The strains of an expertly picked tenor banjo echoed along Gordon St as I hurried towards the Central Station. I had expected the street entertainer to be older, greyer and more wizened (ok, I was stereotyping!) but instead discovered it was a young boy. I now regret not fishing out some change to drop into his velvet lined banjo case. The boy was great but I had a train to catch!

Glasgow Central too was busy. True to form, I just missed a train by two minutes. Bugger!

As I waited by the board for the platform number to be revealed, I watched all the people rushing through.

Where was the guy in tuxedo off to? And the guy with the bike laden down by a huge rucksack? What was his story?

The guy with the black dreads – how long had he been growing those?

People all around me were focussed on their phones. Were they texting a loved one? Instant messaging a friend? Playing a game? Checking Facebook or Twitter?

Even now that I’m on the train home (Hallelujah!) the couple opposite me aren’t talking or interacting with each other. She’s got huge bright pink headphones on and is reading a pamphlet. He’s playing on his phone. What happened to conversation?

As for me, I’m sitting here listening to my iPod (Alter Bridge’s Fortress album for those who may be interested), writing this blog entry, checking my phone for the occasional message and dreaming of the bacon sandwich and glass of wine waiting for me when I finally get home. Five stops to go!

In the meantime, there’s more people to watch and who knows, some of them may be the inspiration for characters in a future book baby!

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An Innocent Cup of Coffee?- there’s no such thing…..

As a self-confessed caffeine addict I am frequently found in my local coffee shop enjoying a “fix”.

Apart from the attraction of the caffeine, the scones, the carrot cake…I could go on and on… the other attraction is people watching.

Perhaps it is the writer or the romantic in me but I like to weave their story as I enjoy my coffee.

The two old white haired ladies sitting with cappuccinos and a scone – are they reminiscing about their youth? Saturday nights spent at “the dancing”?

The four men in shirts and ties – is this a business meeting? The start of a new corporate venture? The key moment in financial success or ruin?

Two young mothers wrestling with squirming toddlers – are they trying desperately to hold onto their sanity over their lattes as well as their children?

A young couple holding hands across the table- first date? Or is he trying to pluck up the courage to propose?

Another couple, perhaps in their thirties or forties, barely looking at each other over the espresso – is divorce on the cards? Is it empty nest syndrome?

Or the large table of teenage girls in the corner, silent because they are all texting on their phones – is this the representation of 21st Century coffee conversation?

Me sitting quietly at a small table with notebook and pen – what am I up to? What am I writing?

What if someone famous walked in and sat at the last empty table? Would you approach them for an autograph? Would you leave them in peace to enjoy their coffee and cake?


I’ve sat a few times writing in the coffee shop, medium Americano immediately to hand. Some poems, short stories and blog posts have sprung to life in this anonymous environment.

Was anyone watching? Who knows but next time you see me sitting there enjoying a “fix” remember I may be watching you!