I am by my own admission not London’s biggest fan. The big city lights hold very little draw, and I’m always more than a little spooked by the lines of unsmiling faces staring at books or phones on the tube.
To an outsider looking in, it lacks humanity.
And with my Country Mouse shoes on, I am very definitely an outsider.
In the aftermath of the terror attacks, I felt more than a little wary about our trips down, both last week and this to the hospital with the little man. I was however wrong.
London this time round was a kinder place.
Somehow, some way, a subtle change seems to have been brought about. Almost as if people have banded together and started looking for the kindness in the world.
There is a steely determination, not to give in to fear.
And instead to look for hope.
On our rare (usually medically induced) visits to London, we joke that Number Two has duties to complete. Duties that consist mainly, of how many people he can make smile. There is you see something about being smiled at by a baby that makes it very hard, for even the most hard hearted of us to resist.
On previous trips, we have counted one smile per tube trip (usually from the poor unsuspecting soul who sits next to or directly opposite us) as a win. It’s our little game, a way of belonging a little in an alien world.
But these latest visits have been different, the smiles a little less hard won, the people a little happier to be engaged. In fact, on one particularly enjoyable trip, most of the carriage were playing along -laughing, smiling, waving and clapping with Number Two. Excited to interact with two tired strangers.
Terrorism and fear have not won. Quite the opposite in fact.
It could so easily have gone the other way. People could have gone inside themselves, become more absorbed in their telephones, their books, their magazines.
But they haven’t.
Instead they are looking for the good in the world. For hope. For love.
Fear has lost. Spectacularly so.