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The third and final day of travelling to London for meetings, I started off resigned to the fact that the travel would be a chore; a fact that was confirmed when I took my seat on the floor of the 8:16 train to Waterloo on Monday morning… and then again when, despite having checked my route on National Rail Enquiries the day before, I was attempting to change tube lines at a station that had in fact been closed for weeks…

Despite having more luck at finding a seat I was not enjoying the journey through the morning ‘crush’ hour on London’s tubes this morning when involuntarily I found myself smiling as I was listening to an announcement: As I was wedging myself into the tube carriage the member of staff on the platform was announcing things in the most cheerful voice I’ve ever heard and wishing everyone a thoroughly lovely day! It almost stopped me dead. (I’d probably have been knocked down by the horde behind me if I had and landed under the train…) I don’t know who that guy was, but such uncharacteristic cheerfulness really lifted my morning. I have no idea how he managed to be so chirpy under the circumstances… drugs, maybe? Whatever it was, it inspired me to try harder to be pleasant to others on the journey: to ignore the foreign couple having a domestic and then playing peekaboo with their noisy child in the ‘Quiet zone’; to walk patiently behind the ambling aimless people; to manoeuvre past the idiots loitering in front of ticket barriers looking at their phones, without giving them filthy looks; and to make extra space for fellow passengers on seats beside me, rather than (as most people seemed to) building a barrier of bags, laptops and coffee and taking up twice as much space as I needed to.

I doubt I made anyone’s morning, but I can’t help thinking if we’d all tried as hard as that London Underground employee did this morning to be pleasant and friendly my journey would’ve been a completely different experience.