Platform number 3 or one more advantage of cohousing

December 12, 2017 9:33 am

Of course it is romantic, the wind, the snow, the greyness, the cold on platform number 3 and no train.
I was on my way to a nice friendly cosy Xmas party and I never arrived. The train was cancelled due to snow.
I was dreaming of mince pies and friendship, mulled wine and gossip and I got platform 3 snowflakes with TfL announcements.
I write this blog after a restorative dark beer, nuts and cheese in my own comfy home, having taken the cowardly decision to give up when the replacement bus failed to appear. I am contented but still annoyed to have had to give up on the party.

It is almost Xmas 2017 and in less than 12 months we will be moving into our cohousing homes. In less than 12 months the party I was trying to get to from platform 3 will be reachable on foot whatever the weather. In less than 12 months I will have the romantic experience of braving the wind and snow and cold to cross the 107 yards separating my home from the common house with its welcoming fire, warm decoration and mince pies. I will hang my snowy coat next to the other snowy coats and will get the mulled wine ready. I will feel very good because of the 5 minutes of romantic experience I will have had walking in the dark snowy tempest looking forward to the pleasure of arriving somewhere at the end of the lane, comforted with the certainty of being able to get back home at the end of the party. A reassuring thought when you are 75 years old and rather frail.

I am not 75 years old yet and could have managed the long return in dark cold London without coming to any harm, but it would have been uncomfortable. I am of the age when comfort is becoming important. Not essential but still a consideration. I do not want to have to choose between a nice party and the probability of cold discomfort. I want to walk to my friends. We used to do just that when the kids were young and all friends where neighbours. But we all moved somewhere else and we all have to takes 3 buses to share a sing-along carol party.

It is not a hardship but there are no spontaneous parties anymore. We have to plan, and despite plans, misfortunes happen, snow on the rails for example. I am young enough to take my 3 buses and enjoy the party but will I be that keen in 10 years? Will I have the strength to go the other side of town to meet people I may not know that well anymore? Will I not, slowly but surely, restrict my social life to people I know and who live close by, even if I don’t like them, because it is easier because it is closer. Will I not wake up one day in 20 years faced with the choice of waiting on platform number 3 or staying alone for Xmas and choosing the later.

I never realised how important physical closeness to friends is until I stood on platform number 3.


On Twitter as @evetibber

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