Writing from A to B: London to Leeds, 13.01.2016.

Oh London, my heart. You contain some of my favourite people and I feel so warm and ready to face everything when I leave you. You’re huge and sprawling and messy and I love that. I can’t help but feel though, that I love visiting you precisely because I can leave again. I can choose your best bits and spend my days leisurely wandering from lunches to coffee to galleries to kill time. Spend my time writing and thinking and reading and not much else. I love you potentially because you’re not my home, you’re my escape and I get to do some much and be so independent when I’m here precisely because you have so much to offer me. I don’t get the chance to make a mess here, or be bored here, I get to be filled with love and culture and time and then I get to skip off home to face my life. I have to worry and stress in Leeds because it’s my home and my life exists there and the people I see there I see all the time so I don’t just get to have the nicest times with them, I have all my times with them. And so, they are a constant source of warmth, rather than the intense heat you get from spending a couple of hours with your closest and much-missed friends.

Really though, I’m just wondering, with so many seats around us, why you would choose to remain immediately next to me? You said ‘hi’ when you sat down, I hope you weren’t imagining conversation to take place. It’s 8.30 pm man, and I have shit to do.

I would recommend, if you don’t get to do it already, spending some time with strangers and describing what you do. Strangers or people you haven’t seen in an incredibly long time. I’ve found nothing else on this earth that helps me pat myself on the back quite like explaining the bare bones of my most recent achievements. Sure, the reality is never quite as glamorous and I would be honest about that too if I got the time. When I explain everything I want to do, too, it sounds so realistic and so certain. Who knows if they really believe I can do it, I hope I say those things confidently enough that they believe that I believe it. I suppose all that matters is that I carry on saying it. To strangers, to my friends (who of course think I will be exactly as successful as I hope to be), to myself. And then I have to do it ten times more frequently than I talk about it. Keep moving, and back myself by telling everyone the direction I’m going in.

For the next two weeks I have my days off next to each other and they include at least one weekend day in both of them. My boss has fallen in love with me/done something awful to me that she feels guilty about. Discuss.

Seriously now, what are you still doing here? Should I move? I’m on the inside I shouldn’t move. Fuck this. This is unpleasant and uncomfortable and I’ve had to move my screen so much I’m basically sat on the arm rest of my seat. Are you having a nice time? Maybe my train time is more sacred to me than it is to you. I’m just going to eat these sweets I found in my bag and wait for this to end. WHY. Why are you using the two empty seats opposite us to store your paper and your bottle of water? Just sit there. For the love of God just move over there instead and I can stop typing like a T-Rex because my laptop is so close to my face.

There was enough love in the people I’ve seen in the last week to persuade me that I really am doing okay. Enough to be happy with my lot and teach myself to be less anxious about something I already have and have had for much longer than I will let myself know.

Is there an inordinate amount of times to listen to Hall & Oates’ ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’? It’s probably once and I’ve already surpassed it.

A-HA. I knew you couldn’t be comfortable with this arrangement, you’ve gone to lay across the two seats in front and we both now have the space to mobilise all of our limbs.

I think fizzy strawberry laces might be one of my favourite things. That’s something to add to the list of New Year’s Plans — always have a bag of fizzy strawberry laces in bag, in case of emergency.

I’d really like to do this on the journey to Newcastle I’ll probably be making in a couple of weeks, but I’m not sure how much I fancy carrying my laptop all day. Phone notes or hand written it might have to be. If I go. Otherwise the next time we do this might be the big one from Leeds to Sydney over nearly three whole days.

I wonder if an orchestral version of Call Me Maybe exists. There’s room for a really epic sounding string section there.

You were quiet a lot today and I hope you were happy listening to me talk and not just wanting it to end. I know I chat to fill silence but I also try not to say things without meaning. I hope you were just listening and taking it in and that’s why you didn’t interrupt me. I wish we saw each other more, we have so many good memories (don’t we?), and I’d like to add to them, not just watch them fade.

Originally published at motsdeclaire.blogspot.co.uk on January 14, 2016.