London Underground are, apparently, looking for love – stories of love. “Has someone on the Tube ever caught your eye? Did you take a chance on love and ask them out for a date? Did Cupid’s arrow strike and stick?”
Whether it’s a pre-valentines publicity stunt or a pre-redundancy love-in who knows, but some of the stories of Dave Hill’s blog have been particularly sweet, particularly the Guide Dog love story… (see comments section here – i have taken the liberty of copying the story below).
My favourite moment happened many years ago and would have been either the District Line or Hammersmith and City line as I got on at Aldgate East. There was a young blind woman seated with her guide dog in one of the seats that face each other. To the whole carriage’s delight a few stops further on a young blind man got on with his guide dog. We all watched with bated breath as the man’s guide dog made straight for the other guide dog, forgetting its professional deameanour in much waggy joy and forcing the blind man to sit opposite the woman who said ‘oh, is it another guide dog?’ and they started a conversation. There was a collective romantic sigh before the usual hustle and bustle started up again. But I like to think that a true romance or friendship blossomed from that meeting.
This slightly sickeningly-sweet story – much more so that Alan Hollighurst’s alternative ‘love’ on the Underground in The Swimming Pool Library(which I won’t go into detail on this blog but is far more lust than love, as you may be able to work out from the rather racey wikipedia entry linked above).
I’ve never had any such experiences myself, sadly. I guess the five- or ten-minute commute from central London to Camden town is not far enough to make lasting eye-contact and relationships on a crowded carriage, particularly when snugly nuzzled against the armpit of a businessman holding the grabrail above my head, as it often the case. But on a cramped underground railway carrying about three million people a day you can’t always help getting cosy with the person next to you – i guess the lesson is, if you possibly can, choose carefully who that may be…