Thursday, 31 July 2008

The Generations

The ladies in the frequent traveller lounge asked me if I was going on holiday.

True I did look the part with my jaunty straw hat and stripey shirt. Both purchased for the princely sum of 6 euros from Thanx I’m a VIP just opposite the children’s school in Paris.

I said that I was going back to work. I’d been on holiday.

As there weren’t that many people around, the ladies asked me if I’d been upstairs. I said I’d disturbed the tranquillity there once before with the children.

As they weren’t with me today, it seemed a good time to return and savour the wonders again.

Upstairs in the lounge is no different from downstairs in the lounge. Only you get the chance to use a spiral staircase.

It all seems so novel. Before I took my year away from the weekly commutes, the lounge at St Pancras International wasn’t really up and running. But it is now and it is far better than the one at Waterloo.

But I still prefer Waterloo as a venue. But it’s gone. It’s in the past. The future is primped and golden.

I’ve been driving regularly through Kings Cross during my trips between north London - where I’ve been staying with the brood - and south London where my mother and grandfather have been residing.

Kings Cross is pregnant. New life is hovering. I’m reluctant to say renaissance because that would denigrate the vitality of what was there before.

OK it might have been prostitutes and drugs but in there were a few ordinary legal things.

But away from the glittering prospects of Kings Cross, I have to say that Wednesday was emotionally tough. I went down to south London early to see my granddad who is going back to Jamaica on Friday.

At 91, it’s possible that it was the last time I’ll see him. But I thought the same thing in October when I saw him in America. But I guess that since he doesn’t exactly live round the corner in Paris, there will be one parting which will be the last.

I had to say goodbye to my mother too. She’s going back to America on Monday, the same day I leave for China.

She says she has to have a few tests when she gets back home. Though I don’t think her demise is imminent, the farewells don’t really inject joy into my soul ahead of a 10 hour plane ride.

Hanging out as one of four generations of a family is a rare gift. Since October I’ve done it in the States, London and Paris.

That’s massive in the big picture book.