Car 6

Ms Anthea Dobbs

Outward appearance

Tinted, straw-like hair, black knitted shawl, billowing printed brown dress and scuffed brown boots. Beautifully made up. Sits with small personal organiser, but is not looking at it. Very suddenly she stands up to exit at Waterloo.

Inside information

Partner of Joy Harvey in Council information surgery. Regards herself as the more technical side of the partnership. On her way to Wasteco at the Elephant and Castle.

What she is doing or thinking

She looks at the silent people around her and remembers the tube strike of 1989. Everyone walked to work. It was summer, and London was suddenly a festival of people. There should have been banners. The streets, instead being deserted, bustled. It was even better in the evenings: the shadows long, the sun golden. People said what the hell, and went to the pub. They walked in chains with hands on each other's necks. Pretty girls in halter necks, large bouncy men with Jewish hats. You saw faces everywhere, and the message of those faces over time was this: we are for the most part hard working, decent, pleasant people.

She has read recently of an alarming fall in numbers of people volunteering for charities. It is not due to overwork, since it is busy people who have continued to volunteer. The reason, the article claimed, is habitual isolation. It breeds mistrust and cynicism.

She almost thinks there should be a two-year moratorium on cars, tubes, TV. She suddenly yearns to be out on the streets and abruptly decides to walk to the Elephant from Waterloo.

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