Sunday, December 09, 2007


Travelling down from Liverpool to London yesterday was an experience.

Torrential rain and cold weather did its best to make sure the journey had a good chance of being miserable: it was long, but not really a source of misery. Roadworks stretching for several miles, slowing traffic to a snail's pace lengthened the trip considerably. Then, on a Saturday afternoon, there is no congestion charge operating in central London. The congestion charge might be a pain for motorists, but it is a wonderful invention for some of us commuters, especially those of us who were stuck in long traffic jams and gridlocked crossroads. Christmas shoppers bustled to and fro, inseperable from their umbrellas as the torrential rain became even heavier.

Arriving at Victoria Coach Station was something of a triumph. When the bus driver apologised for the delays which he said were none of his making, everybody agreed with him. Still, much as the passengers staggered from the coach, there was something exciting about emerging, even in a torrential downpour, into the sights and sounds of a London evening with only a few days to go before Christmas. There was a thrill about being warmly wrapped with an effective umbrella, the inconvenience of the bus journey a thing of the past.

...and then there were the homeless along the way: a woman tucked up in a soggy blanket, a man pushing a trolly laden with plastic carrier bags of belongings...

Inconvenience is relative. Does a long wait in a warm, dry,bus compare with a longer wait through the night in a shop doorway, a wait that is continuing from one night to the next because there is no home at the end of the road?

Spare a thought and a prayer for whom 'inconvenience' has become a way of life.

God bless,
Sr. Janet