One of my favourite pastimes is people spotting. It's cheap, doesn't require any special kit and unlike bird, train or plane spotting you can do it anywhere.
Some of the people I 'spotted' this week:
A woman at my local supermarket buying three frozen pizza's and an expensive glossy called 'Healthy Eating'.
A guy who stood before me in the long queue of people ready to board a train. His rug sack has an intriguing pocket labelled 'air valve'. Can you blow the whole thing up in case of a plane crash? Does he go diving with the pack on his back? Does the bag double as a travel pillow and - if so is he planning a good snooze on his train ride home?
My colleague who in an attempt to save me the hassle put all the blinds in our joint office down when he left to go to the dentist the other day. Leaving me to work in 'Santa's grotto' on a bright sunny afternoon. It funnily enough didn't occur to him that I am very capable of putting some blinds down.
A woman in my local playground, who, in a brave attempt to not be defeated by the fact that spring suddenly seems to have turned into winter again, walks around with (periwinkle coloured) bare legs. At first I suspect she is wearing very thin tights to match the pale fur on her thick winter coat, but closer inspection reveals it is definitely a pair of very bare legs I see sticking out of her fleece lined boots. Brrr...
A middle-aged man that is sitting opposite me on the train back home, who, possibly against his wife's orders, gets a Mars bar out of one of the zillion pockets of his utility type jacket. He dives into it, like it's his last meal on earth and/or he hasn't eaten in a fortnight. Halfway in, however, he stops, carefully folds the wrapper round the remainder of his treat and puts it away. How is that possible? Where on earth did he find the willpower to put it back. I could never, ever, ever eat just half a Mars bar (nor a packet of crisps, tin of biscuits, bar of chocolate etc.). Ever since, I have tried to find this man again, desperate to know if he actually managed to save to other half of his Mars bar for another train journey, or gobbled it all up on his walk home from the station. The suspense is killing me, but alas, so far I haven't bumped into him again.
The people I met cycling to the station from work on a unseasonably warm afternoon. The early risers that have obviously been caught out by the warm weather. They can be seen sweating (and probably swearing) on their bikes wearing ski jackets, woollen scarves, heavy jeans and long boots. Students on the other hand that apparently have had the time to root out their slippers, shorts and little vests and do not have to loose 10 kg before they can wear those kinds of clothes are also out on their bikes, making for an interesting mix. But the best by far are the anxious parents who kit out their children in a winter jacket, woolly hat and water proof dungarees, while they themselves have left their jackets, hats, gloves, sweaters and boots at home, because 'it is way too warm to wear all that, isn't it'?
An elderly couple at my local supermarket buying some long life (ready made?) 'Cappuccino Foam'. Their shopping trolley reveals they have already been tempted into buying cute little 'snack tomatoes' and quite a few plastic containers filled with pre cubed cheese, salami and spreads from the 'nibbles selection'. Instantly I can picture their children completely willing to drink the filter coffee and eat the plain cheese sandwiches they grew up with when they visit, now having to marvel over the 'Cappuccino Foam' whilst desperately trying to keep it down.
It's Sunday afternoon as I am tapping away at my keyboard. The house is deserted as all the other clan members are out playing sports. It's nice to have the house to myself for a change. Nice and quiet. But tomorrow I'll be on the train again and I'll be riding my bike and I might even go to the supermarket. What do you think, would it be too obvious if I took my binoculars?