Monday, 21 January 2008

Echoes of Yesterday

On the bus yesterday, a guy asked me if the bus was going to North Mid (North Middlesex Hospital). I told him he was on the wrong bus and what bus he needed to get there. I used that bus a lot last year to visit my mother while she was in hospital having a hip operation.

During my bus journey I saw a grey squirrel frolicking in the park. I thought it must be such fun exploring all those trees.

Later on my way home on another bus, I heard two guys chatting. From what I could make out from their conversation, they lived out of London and were in London for the weekend. When the seat beside me became available one of the guys sat next to me. I asked him where they were from. He said Northampton. I told him I'd been to a town near Northampton, which he was very familiar with. He said they came down to London to watch a football match between Tottenham Hotspurs and Sunderland.

"Did you guys sit with the Sunderland supporters, Tottenham or the neutral side?" I asked.

"With Tottenham, my friend supports Tottenham Hotspurs," he said. "We both had our Tottenham kits on."

His friend showed me his Tottenham Hotspurs carrier bag.

"Oh, I see, Still, it would have been fun though if you'd sat with the Sunderland supporters," I said. "I'm sure they wouldn't have minded having Tottenham supporters in their midst."

"We probably wouldn't be speaking to you now if we had," the Tottenham fan said.

"Oh come on, it's only a game!"

"That's not how some people see it," he said. "Some people take matches very seriously, you know."

"By the way, I support Liverpool."

"Oh no, not the Reds!"

"Is that what they're called?"

"How could you live in north London and support the Reds?"

"Because they are the best team in the world."

I told them while I was growing up in Sierra Leone they used to show English football matches on television. That was when I decided to support Liverpool. I never realised Liverpool was one of the top football teams. Liverpool happens to be one of Tottenham Hotspurs' many rivals.

"The Reds are playing Aston Villa next week," he said.

"Like I'm really interested."

I told my friends that when it comes to international football matches I only support the team with the best looking player. I said in the last World Cup, I wanted France to win because I fancied Thierry Henry. During the finals when France played Italy, I wanted Italy to win because I love the Italian language. Italy were the eventual winner of the World Cup. The Tottenham fan pulled out a book he'd bought at the football match.

"See if you can find any good looking guys in there then," he said.

I flicked through the pages and there was only one guy who was marginally acceptable though I can't recall his name. I did find a picture of Homer Simpson from the cartoon series, The Simpsons, lifting a pig aloft. I said I would rather support Homer.

I continued having a banter with my friends as they were going all the way to the last stop. It turned out the younger of the two guys was born in London in North Middlesex Hospital but he and his parents moved up to Northampton when he was a child.

When I told the younger guy how old I was, he said I was almost old enough to be his adopted mother.

"Why didn't you adopt me?" he said.

"Because you refused to support Liverpool," I said. "How can I possibly adopt a son who refuses to support my football team?"

"There's a story behind that, but I'll let my friend tell you," he said.

"He used to support Liverpool," his friend said.

"So you did support Liverpool!" I said.

"Yes, but I was only a kid then and I wasn't that serious. I used to collect stickers. Now I know better I support Hotspurs."

"Bad choice, you should have stuck with Liverpool."

It was fun travelling with my friends. They were like my younger brothers and fun to have a banter with. Before we parted company, I hugged both and wished them a pleasant trip back to Northampton.

When I went home, I told my mother about my friends on the bus. I said one of them was born in North Mid. She thought it was a small world. Later we watched a wild life programme featuring some red squirrels, which reminded me of the grey one I had spotted earlier. Then we watched The Antiques Roadshow and that particular programme was set in Liverpool. Later as my mother was flicking the TV channels I saw a picture of Homer Simpson carrying a pig.

This morning while I was on the bus, I saw a van with the company name "Squirrel Storage. Here we go again, more squirrels! It's a good name though for the company because squirrels are excellent at storing things.

Life is an echo.
Life is an echo.


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