When you work in the same place for a while, “regulars” crop up along your commute.
They’re in the same place, at the same time every working day, and if a week or so passes and they’re not there, you start to wonder where they’ve gone.
On my walk along the Strand every morning and evening, I’ll often recognise the people going in the opposite direction.
And every area of London has its characters – those who are a little bit odd, or eccentric – who everyone seems to know.
Not to speak to or say hello, or even acknowledge the fact that you pass each other every single morning without fail, but more as an internal nod, “oh, YOU again.”
There’s one old man who always seems to be around on the Strand.
You might recognise him by his huge beard and hat, but mostly you’d know him because he’s usually pushing this along the pavement:
If you look really really carefully underneath all the mountains of bags, you’ll see it’s not a pile of rubbish that someone has inconveniently strewn across the pavement on Adam Street at all.
It’s actually a bike.
The Bag Bike has been a resident on Adam Street – without its owner – for about two weeks now.
No one knew where the Bag Bike’s Owner had gone, just that he’d left his Bag Bike behind and it was blocking the pavement.
Despite this, no one dared get rid of it.
No one tried to nick it (pro tip right there, London cyclists).
No one tried to dismantle the bags.
First it was parked up at the top of the road, and then someone moved it down to just outside our office, where people wandered by and marvelled at it, and took pictures (mostly me).
Until eventually and inevitably, someone took strong, affirmative action against the offending article.
By, err, writing a note. And leaving it there.
You might think this an ineffective use of time, but it’s a well known fact that underlining words and using CAPITAL LETTERS makes whatever you’re asking for happen more quickly.
And like magic this morning, three days after the note was put up, the bike was gone.
The Bag Bike Man had returned!
This sighting and movement has prompted questions in the office such as:
1) Where has Bag Bike Man been for the last two weeks?
2) Is the Bag Bike Stick of Wood a new, permanent addition?
3) Did word get to him that his bike was under threat?
Either way, it’s good to have you back, Bag Bike Man.
And on behalf of the commuters on the Strand – we’ll see you around.
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It was worth a try.