London’s familiar underground voice speaks up. It’s programmed, automatic and a soft but perfectly articulate British female voice. She tells me that the next stop is Fulham Broadway on the District line. She then tells me to change at Earls Court (my old hood) for the Picadilly Line. It’s a Barking train (baaahking) and I should alight at Victoria for commuter trains or the Gatwick Express.
When I left London, it was one of the strongest memories I had of my daily commute. That and the West End’s footprint of nearly every musical and play I saw over and over again using heavily discounted tickets.
I could have recited every line to Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and the Mousetrap at the time, not to mention book categories on every aisle of the smaller, older, eclectic bookstores between Picadilly and Covent Garden.
Ah yes, the protest marches in Trafalgar Square, drag queen nights at the Hippodrome, outside performers on a drizzly but warm night and the countless hours eating crepes, drinking coffee and bartering at the once grungy Camden Market just outside northern London’s Camden Town.
Somehow, Mind the Gap brought it all back. Again and again.