Shortstories

Southend
I went shopping and soon returned without having bought anything as it was too hot.

I returned home dropped off the shopping bag, picked up my travel pass and headed off to Fenchurch Street station where I purchased a return ticket for Southend. I then bought a roll and soft drink, boarded the train which I’d noticed was due to leave at 2.20pm. I was surprised at how crowded the train was, it was mainly builders going home from work.

I found a seat next to a window started eating my roll until the train left the station. As the train travelled on more people boarded it and a builder sat next to me. I heard him say on his mobile, “I haven’t eaten all day.”

That did not sound good to me and when the train pulled in to Southend Central the driver announced “This train will pull in to platform three and the doors on the right hand side are the ones to use.” Leaving the train I noticed there were quite a few people also getting off and there were lots of people waiting to board a train, probably going home.

Walking out of the station I ambled down the High Street and when I arrived at the end of it I looked out over the sea to Kent. I could not believe my eyes, I was unable to see Kent as it was lost behind a haze.

I wandered down to the pier and said to the lady “I’d like to walk to the end of the pier and get the train back.”

“Unfortunately the train is not running today.”

“Oh in that case I’ll go to the pub as it is too hot to walk there and back.”

I looked out to sea and stared at the haze, in all my years I had never seen anything like it, was it a heat haze? I then wandered off to the Chinnery pub, bought a pint and sat under the awning.

I chatted to a young man who was sat at the next table without a shirt on, he had no tattoos, a pot belly and had just returned from a holiday in Turkey and his friend, who also had no shirt on had just returned from Crete he said, “I was on a part of Crete where they were mainly Dutch, I had a great time.”

They left and an elderly lady sat at my table, she was with her daughter in law and grandchildren who were all from Australia. “My son came over for business and also sold his house.” The lady said but her and her family didn’t stay long as they had their car on a meter which was due to expire.

Then a black guy sat at my table he wore a hat over his dreadlocks and wore shorts, his wife joined him and we chatted for a while. He lives at Chelmsford and works on the underground of a night, in fact he works at Ruislip station. His daughter is a teacher, he bought me a drink and so I retaliated.

It was about 9pm when I left to catch my train. I walked up the slope to the high street and paused to look out over the sea. I could not believe what I saw, there was a red haze along the Kent coast. I stood a while just enjoying the spectacular view. Finally I arrived at the station and returned home. I had enjoyed another day at Southend.

 

Canons Park
I like walking in a small park near me called Canons Park, to enter it I leave the main road and walk along a pathway which has trees on either side. I take my time looking to see what birds there are and at the end of the path I cross the road, open a gate and close it and then enter Canons Park.

I walk along a path and over a bridge which goes over the tube line. Then I veer right and sometimes there are butterflies dotted about fluttering from plant to plant.
Recently the council has built a sort of keep fit thing but I’ve seldom seen anybody on the apparatus. Then there is a small hut where I buy an ice cream, usually a double header. On a warm day there are people seated out enjoying an ice cream, sandwich or drink.

Then I walk further along the path, there may be children riding bicycles and next there is a playground area.

I then turn left on the path and walk towards the tennis courts. Along the path there are benches and there is usually someone seated upon them. Past the tennis courts the path and park end but recently I have found a new diversion. Instead of walking on the grass, there is now another path which wanders through a wooded area.

On this particular day there was a man with his child on his shoulders running along. I stopped and looked into the woods and was delighted at what I saw. It was two tiny wrens which were no bigger than my thumbnail. I didn’t linger too long in case someone came along as I would not like too many people finding my little treasure and disturbing them.

Once out of the wooded path it was back along the road and re-entering the park and going home.

I told a few people about seeing the wrens as it was such a delight to see.