I pull into the side of the road, switch on my hazard warning lights and settle down to wait. I turn off the lights on the car - as do the other people in the queue of traffic ahead of me. The gentle rhythm of the indicators is hypnotic and I find my mind drifting to what I need to do to finish dinner on my return home.
There is a fine drizzle coming down and every now and again I flick the windscreen wipers on to clear the view. Not that there is much to see. It's dark and there is nothing but other vehicles in front and behind me. A group of taxi drivers are huddled together in their shelter about 200 metres away. They are ready and waiting for their passengers, all of whom will be in a hurry to get home.
After a short while I can hear a distant hum which becomes increasingly louder. You can sense every other driver in the queue sitting up a little straighter and anxious to be on their way. Behind the fence I can hear a voice coming over a tannoy 'The train arriving at platform one will be the 1757 from London Liverpool Street, next stop Stansted Airport'. The hum gives way to a swoosh as the train pulls into the station. Electronic doors open and you can see the glow of the interior of the train through the slats of the fencing. The pavements are still empty though, and then suddenly the double glass doors of the station open and people come flooding out. Pulling up hoods on coats, putting up umbrellas, looking carefully to see where the car picking them up is parked. The taxi rank is busy now, doors of cabs slamming and drivers starting up their engines. The commuters are in a hurry to be home.
The cars in front of me are gradually moving away, their passengers safe and warm inside and I edge down the ramp. Where is my passenger? The crowd has thinned right down now, stragglers pushing open the doors and making their way to the car park or bus stop. Has she fallen asleep on the train again? The warmth of the carriage after a busy day working in London easily lulls her to sleep and on more than one occasion she has woken up in Cambridge or Stansted Airport having slept through her stop. Then a familiar silhouette comes through the doors, head down, cradling her phone to her ear, chatting and laughing to a friend. She's in no hurry to finish her conversation and is still talking as she opens the car door and sits down in the passenger seat. The end of a working day.