Create December: Carol Singers

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Create's song challenge has got Minorvogonpoet thinking. We appreciate. Carol singers can teach us a lesson.

Carol Singers

Christmas carol singers

It was the last working day before Christmas and I was looking forward to going home. Not that anybody in the office had done much work, but commuting from my home in Sussex was tiring. I boarded the train at Victoria and found a seat. The train stopped at East Croydon as scheduled but didn't start again.

We waited, resigned to the delays and breakdowns that plague the Southern region. The announcement came – delays due to a broken down train at Purley. The commuters often travelled in silence, but after a while, people started grumbling.

"Any idea what's happening?"

"No. You'd think they'd tell us."

In the end, we were told the train was going no further and we would have to disembark. Grumbling, we picked up our bags and left. I climbed to the bridge over the line and looked at the noticeboards, hoping for trains heading south. People were milling around, walking up and down, questioning members of staff. Eventually a train came in, stopping at Haywards Heath. I hurried down the ramp and pressed into a carriage with everyone else. Standing room only. I found a spot where I could hang onto a pole and resigned myself to an uncomfortable journey.

At Haywards Heath, I disembarked again and looked for a train home. A cold wind blew, picking up little piles of dust and carrying them along the platform. People sat in the cafe, or huddled together on seats close by. The rails, lit by the station lamps, gleamed silver into the distance. No sign of trains.

Then I heard the carols. I couldn't make out the words, but the sound of voices in harmony drifted up the stairs. Despite being tired and frustrated, I was attracted to the music. I walked down the steps and found a group of singers, both men and women, with sheets of carols. They were collecting money for the local Citizens Advice Bureau. I stopped and listened.

"Good King Wenceslas looked out

On the feast of Stephen

When the snow lay round about

Deep and crisp and even.

Brightly shone the moon that night

Though the frost was cruel

When a poor man came in sight

Gathering winter fuel."

I threw some money in a collecting bucket and walked back up to the platform. It's good to remember there's always someone worse off than yourself.

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