When I don’t know what to write, I usually find a picture to post. So, not having got up early enough this morning to take any worthwhile pictures of the first snowfall of the season, I went browsing through recent photos and came across this image taken a few weeks ago at the re-vamped New Street Station, Birmingham. At the time I was struck by how inappropriately labelled the area was. The sign says “Yellow Lounge”, and yet there is very little yellow in view and it looks nothing like I would expect a lounge to look.
I was actually looking for the loo when I found the rather spartan-looking area and I snapped the picture thinking I’d probably be able to come up with a pun of some kind about lack of comfort stations and lack of comfort at stations. Today, though, now I’ve decided to post it, I thought I should check that I’m right in thinking a lounge is more than just a space to wait and that it’s not unreasonable to expect some kind of comfort.
Whether it’s lounge as a verb, or lounge as a noun, most of the definitions I have found include some mention of resting or relaxing, so I think the term implies a degree of comfort not available in the Yellow Lounge – or practically anywhere else – at New Street.
I also came across a number of definitions of a lounge as “a place to pass the time”, which has reminded me of the poem Time passes, which I first posted some years ago.
Since then it has been revisited and revised on a number of occasion; I’ve even made a few small changes this afternoon. It’s obviously set in entirely the wrong season and a very long way from Britain’s second city, but, for what it’s worth, here’s the latest version:
Cicadas etch a tripwire grid across the garden.
An owl’s pale velvet hoot
glides through pinedark air.
In vinous trills
the nightingale’s song
ripples from the cherry tree.
The cockerel crows
the fussy hens awake;
they peck and pick, unravelling
the fraying edges of the night.
All round the valley, dogs
worry the straggled threads
of dark; they tug and bark
and run with them
towards the morning.