It’s no secret that I love a quote. I started a separate Twitter account for my daily lyric of the days, which has now amassed a grand total of 12 followers so, needless to say i’m kind of a big deal in the quote/quirky lyric world. I’ve been following Willesden Green’s thought for the day on Instagram and Twitter for a year or so now and love the fact that they started using their information boards to write funny or inspirational quotes on to give their commuters as they go about their daily business.
This is also a great example of why I love social media and how just sending the odd tweet here or instant message there can lead to great things (from small acorns etc etc). Because I’d followed James and all the great quotes he uses for their daily board, he was the first person I got in touch with when we were looking to do a similar thing at my work. Not only did he give me loads of useful hints and advice (what you can say, what you can’t, and the importance of good penmanship) but he also invited me down for a cuppa next time I was passing through London.
And of course, passing through London is something I do quite regularly these days. It took a while to get our diaries aligned but last week, I took a slight detour from by usual route home and went to visit James and Josh at Willesden Green. What was even nicer was that they let me donate my own quote for their thought for the day.
I’ll admit I was a little nervous, I mean, engaging with people is my actual job but there’s still always that little niggle of worry when you’re going off to do something new, especially with people you meet on the internet. What if this is all just a massive ruse to kidnap me? When I arrived though I found my quote instantly and stood proudly next to it waiting for James. What was really lovely, was seeing all the commuters stop to read it, and one even took a picture. I was so tempted to say ‘that’s me, Honestly Helen, that’s me!’ but large as my ego is, I resisted the urge.
As soon as I saw James any worries about being kidnapped disappeared as he greeted me with a warm ‘Bring it in Instagram buddy’. And gave me a massive hug. This, ladies and gentlemen is why the world is such an amazing place. We had some pictures taken next to the board (James nailed my Instagram pose) then went to the office for a cuppa. Being able to see the inner workings of such a massive transport infrastructure was fascinating.
We drank coffee and chatted about our jobs, how the thought for the day came about and how it’s gone viral online for all the right reasons. With so many horrible things going on in the world and political dramas, I think it’s nice to see some positivity and human kindness. There will be people who look forward to that quote every day, and on some mornings, it probably lifts their spirits. Never under estimate the power of positive thought.
The quote I chose was ‘There are no extraordinary people, just ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances’. I picked this for a few reasons. 1. It felt like it embodied the NHS and TFL and our new-found friendship perfectly. We’re all just normal people just to do our best under what can sometimes be extraordinary circumstances and 2. It’s one of my dad’s favourite quotes.
I was so honoured to be invited down to meet the team at that station that started it all (you may have since seen ‘All On the Board’ which does a similar thing and nailed the Backstreet Boys nod during their recent stint at the O2). And I can only hope we’re able to replicate their success.
If nothing else though, I feel like I’ve made a new friend.