Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

'Tell me something surprising' London commuters share sweet personal stories with curious blogger

tumblr_norn3zEiL41tg47sno1_1280.jpg

Ah the Tube. Our love-hate relationship with the London Underground knows no bounds.

Every morning we squeeze in, enjoying the musk of our fellow commuters who affectionately dig their elbows into our spines or shove us into other people’s coffees, to secure a seat. Such fun.

Amy

Amy Dicketts, author of Commute Blog

But rarely do we stop to think about who are fellow commuters are. We regularly see the same people on the train day after day. Some people may even have secret affectionate names for the regulars they see each morning (Paula Hawkins knew this when she wrote The Girl on the Train), but does anyone stop for a chat?

Amy Dicketts does.

London commuter, Dicketts, has spent the past eighteen months chatting to strangers on the Tube and documenting her findings on her Commute Blog.

“I’ve just been flat hunting. I’ve seen a lot of hovels and a lot of mouldy bathrooms.”

“I’ve just been flat hunting. I’ve seen a lot of hovels and a lot of mouldy bathrooms.”

law

"If I didn’t have to do this journey I’d be getting drunk - I’ve just finished my law degree!"

Dicketts, who told the Evening Standard that she was “a really nosy person” and often enjoyed chatting to strangers and finding out about them, decided to start the blog when she realised how many people have such interesting stories to tell.

“I came up with the idea of Commute Blog because I used to travel almost the entire length of the Northern line every weekend and I knew there was something more interesting I could do than listen to my iPod,” said Dicketts.

spoon

“I mostly carve spoons at the moment. All different sizes and types, made of wood. I like to make really small porridge spoons and give them away to all my family.”

beyonce

“I like Beyonce.” “People see the way we’re dressed and think we’re twats who only like pretentious music but we love her.” “She’s the Queen.”

The blog features photographs of people Dicketts meets on her journeys (mostly on the Northern line, if you want to bump into her) and an interesting quote about their lives.

Revealing how she encourages people to open up, Dicketts said: “I always ask them if they can tell me something surprising about themselves. That usually stumps a lot of people, so I try and draw it out of them by asking what they do or where they're going. It's funny how many people have remarkable tales to tell and don't even realise it.”

commute

“Someone will look like a normal person and then they go into a cafe and kill forty or fifty people. They say it’s for religion but it’s not. Their religion says you shouldn’t kill anyone, you shouldn’t harm anyone.”

commute

“I work for my mum on Harley Street - I freeze people’s fat! But I really want to be a TV presenter.”

Dicketts has learned that: “people with dogs are always really friendly,” and that most people “really liked having their photos taken.”

Amongst the people Dicketts has met, are Bafta-winning director, Olly Lambert, who Dicketts spoke to about his dog. It wasn’t until afterwards that the blogger realised who he was.

Olly

“Eddie’s a rescue dog... Sometimes people on the tube chat away to him and don’t even notice me. I’m like, ‘hi!’” Ironically all we talked about was Eddie, and it was only afterwards I found out that Olly is an award-winning director!

And the winner, due to his discerning taste in reading material...

commute blog

This guy held up the magazine and said “I’m reading Stylist!”

“People have syrprising stories to tell,” says Dicketts. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Perhaps we’re not such unfriendly Londoners, after all. 

Words: Harriet Hall

Images: Commuteblog.co.uk

Related

rexfeatures_4822388e.jpg

Five things you need to know about Apple Pay

station.jpg

'Why are we Londoners so angry?'

lighthouse HERO FINAL.JPG

10 of the UK's quirkiest and most unique places to stay

1537946_1442095876112071_8006511130731520455_o.jpg

New campaign celebrates what women really look like underneath

personality.jpg

Take a look at Britain's regional personality map

little-miss-london.jpg

Meet the hilarious 'Little Miss' characters of London

Comments

More

Kate Moss bags new role selling street food in Brick Lane

“C’mon, get ya Viet buns”

by Amy Lewis
07 Dec 2016

Scarlett Moffatt praises NHS after 'crazy' Spanish hospital experience

“In other countries, people can’t afford to be well”

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Female MP shares “creepy” letter telling her how to dress

“Hide the skin and people will look you in the eyes”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Dec 2016

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Lady Gaga's supermarket sweep to backstage at the British Fashion Awards

by Nicola Colyer
07 Dec 2016

You need to listen to Cruz Beckham's debut Christmas single

#IfEveryDayWasChristmas

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Amy Schumer pens powerful letter to fat-shaming trolls

“You will not determine my story – I will”

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Paloma Faith pens emotional letter to NHS following birth of her baby

She made her feelings about the NHS very clear following her emergency C-section

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Lady Gaga opens up about her struggle with PTSD

The singer says she is still dealing with the psychological impact of being raped.

by Moya Crockett
06 Dec 2016

Bernardo Bertolucci responds to Last Tango in Paris backlash

"This is a ridiculous misunderstanding"

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Madonna twerks up a storm with James Corden in new Carpool Karaoke

Watch this material girl get up on the… dashboard?

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016