There’s something way too fascinating about just sitting and watching the world go by. It tends to happen by accident – when you’re in the middle of something and suddenly realise that you just spent 5 minutes gawping out the window, doing nothing of merit whatsoever.
At least that’s how it goes for me, anyway. Maybe I’m just more weird than I thought.
I took myself out for lunch and coffee today, just for a change of scenery tbh. I mean, I know I’ve only been back on English soil for 4 days, but I get cabin fever really easily. Plus it’s miserable and cold and not at all summery in England atm (it’s July, what else could we expect?!?) and I felt like the drizzly view from my bedroom window was all too ‘meh’. Something about taking my laptop and notebook elsewhere magically makes me loads more productive too. It’s great. All about that coffee shop creative life.
My perch in this particular coffee shop fave (Ham & Jam in Preston, for any of ya locals) has those huge glass windows that A) make for good Instagram lighting, and B) give you a good view to watch the world go by. Usually there’s nothing remotely exciting to watch, not gonna lie. BUT, I hadn’t realised that today was graduation day, and if anything’s bloody brilliant for peoplewatching, it’s hundreds of people dressed up to the nines at 12:30 on a Tuesday lunchtime. What better opportunity to check out the heels and dresses, really?
In addition to eyeing up the nice frocks (spotted some sassy pants jumpsuits too), I always find myself wondering what lives people lead when I’m caught in these little dazes. Just wondering for the sake of wondering, even if I forget it all half an hour later. Unless I write down my observations, that is. Like this time I blogged about the people around me on a train. Today I sat there casually wondering who’s graduated in what… who’s had a great time and didn’t want to leave… who’s been counting down the days until graduation since freshers… who has a clue what they’re doing with their post-grad lives and who has no idea whatsoever.
It’s interesting just noticing the similarities and differences. Obviously a lotta people go to one uni, and whilst most looked about 21, plenty were all different ages too. I wonder what made them decide to go to uni later in life? Did they regret not going earlier? Is this their third degree?
Some had clearly taken the unusual opportunity to get glammed up on a Tuesday morning weren’t letting any Lancashire drizzle rain on their parade. Some were barefoot on the pavement because they’d surrendered to the heels pain already. Some looked like they’d been forced to wear something other than a tshirt for the first time in a year.
Everybody’s taking photos with family. Some are checking they look ok, fluffing up their hair and asking their dad to take another 6 iPhone snaps to be sure. Some just want the damn photo over and done with.
Some families looked like carbon copies of each other, and all 3 kids had mum’s eyes and dad’s nose. Some families couldn’t look less alike if they tried.
Some had brought their entire extended family, plus their cousin’s best friend and nephew’s dog. Some just had ma or pa by their side.
Sooner or later I stopped staring out the window and resumed typing and editing and emailing and all that productive jazz. Still kept an ear and en eye on the goings on around me though. Possibly my favourite thing I overheard all day? A dad explaining to his young daughter why people are wearing funny square hats.
“Because when you leave university, you graduate, and you celebrate wearing a square hat and a robe”.
“Then you get a job and you’re an adult?”.
“Huh. In theory.”
Ahh life. Here’s to never feeling like adults and wishing you could have the innocent world view of a 5 year old.
lily kate x