When I was at school my head of year, who had been at the school for more than 15 years, thought it appropriate to spend the time that we were a captive audience to her telling us about something that she had never before noticed. The main hall had a disco ball. Second to feeling this was a waste of precious football playing time I was astonished that she had gone so long without noticing something in a place where she spent so much time. This isn’t the one I miss. In fact, that one isn’t there any more. The building was demolished a year or so ago.
I’d like to think I am more perceptive to my surroundings than she was and know the areas where I spend a lot of time fairly well. There are occasions where I realise I might not be as aware as I’d like to think I am, places are pointed out to me that I feel I should have noticed earlier. I walk the same route to the train station almost every working day. There are many routes I could take but, having tried them all, I prefer this one. It takes me by an area of greenery. I might not be able to see it most days because it’s too dark when I leave but it’s nice knowing such places exist in the middle of a city like London. Last year I noticed a building being lit up by tiny spot lights. I spent a few days watching this light show, it spread across the street, covered an entire building on London Wall and even went on to the other side of the street. On the third day my curiosity got the better of me and I stopped to try an work out what was lighting up my walk home. I watched the lights dancing down the building, across the road, around my feet and up the wall next to me. Circular motions meant it was coming from behind me. There’s a very old building behind me with a bell tower. Instead of the bell there’s a disco ball. I’m not sure why but the dancing lights have stopped in the last few days. I’m inclined to blame the government. It would be nice to have the lights back.
My point is this. Instead of holing ourselves up in our own world, clutching our phones and blocking out the world with an ipod (I’m as guilty of this as anyone), we should be appreciating the world around us. It’s full of disco balls.