The tube is rattling along at a pace of knots and I'm doing my best 'stare at my feet and pretend I have no idea that I'm snuggled as close as is humanly possibly beneath the closest stranger's armpit' look. I'm on my way to Notting Hill. That's the posh, swanky, sloaney bit of London with cute painted houses and vintage shops selling second hand clothes for extortionate prices - for those of you who aren't posh, swanky or sloaney enough to know this already.
I'm here to meet up with my friends Ellen and Louisa for a day of very British, middle class fun. We're having a very British, middle class picnic, bought from apt British middle class stores such as Waitrose and Marks and Spencer's, - other apt and British middle class stores are available - and we're going to drink British, (though possibly French, but we'll make sure we drink it in a very British manner) middle class champagne whilst sat in the beautiful (British) surroundings of Royal Kensington Gardens, - how very British and middle class.
I mistakenly look up momentarily and accidentally catch the eye of the armpit bearer; we both shift uncomfortably and resume our respective staring at nothing, relieved to re-assume our very British, middle class tube roles.
Later, we're going to drink fruity Swedish cider that contains elderflower, of all things, in a British bar on the Portobello Road, after which we will complete the day supping wine in the theatrical surroundings of Regent's Park where we will be entertained by a group of 'players' performing A Midsummer's Night's Dream. Seriously, I think to myself, can you GET any more British and middle class than that?
The motion of the tube begins to slow as we approach the station. The strangers around me begin preparing themselves, picking up bags and shuffling closer to the doors. naturally, I politely disengage myself from the gentleman's elbow as he prepares to alight from the train, moving a small boy - eight? Nine maybe? Yes, nine, definitely, - moving a nine year old boy in front of him as he does so. I wonder briefly what plans they have for the day, Madam Tussaud's perhaps, The London Dungeon's or just shopping on Oxford Street; certainly nothing as British and middle class as my friends and I have planned for the day. The doors open. I shift aside.
"Here we are," the gentleman says to the nine year old boy as he nudges him gently towards the doors, "this is our stop, off you get Moriarty."!