Kings Cross Concourse

2.30 pm, concourse, Kings Cross

At last I’ve found the best spot to sit and sketch at Kings Cross; one of the tables overlooking the concourse. The balcony has plate glass panels so you get an unrestricted view of the travellers below.

Despite the length of the concourse, I struggle to sketch people walking from one end to the other but soon little groups settle with their cases, giving me more of a chance. I like the way they arrange themselves, echoing each other in their poses, as well as in the way they dress.

The Olympics Effect

We’re so taken with how friendly and helpful people are in London. I’m sure it wasn’t like this in my student days! People go out of their way to help you, for instance the man on the information desk at St Pancras who walked with us the thirty yards to the machine to talk us through how to buy an Oyster card, which saves you 30 or 40 percent on tube travel.

Our friend Chris in Putney suggests that this is partly a result of the Olympics a couple of years ago, when residents got used to directing people around the city, acting as ambassadors.

London came in for a lot of criticism during the debate surrounding Scottish independence but, probably because the place did so much for me in my student days, I have enormous affection for its streets, parks, river and people. It’s good to have so many galleries, museums and historical sites – plus the zoo and Kew Gardens – concentrated into an easily accessed few square miles, rather than have them spread thinly across the country.

The city always gives me a buzz and inspiration, and a glow of nostalgia for my formative years but that’s not to say that it isn’t a relief when we get on the train, sink into our seats, buy a coffee and a packet of shortbread from the trolley and head back to the hills and small towns of Yorkshire!

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