I sink into my seat, so glad that on a late Sunday afternoon, the tube is almost empty. The shining, pointed shoes of the man sitting opposite me are the yellow of a new daffodil.
Earlier, we'd pushed our way through the hordes of Sunday shoppers in Columbia Road, ducking the trees that seemed to walk towards us, as their new owners dragged and carried them away from the flower market. From either side of the road we heard the competing cries of stall-holders urging us to buy "three bunches for a fiver" And all around us were the people who had; their arms filled with roses, hydrangeas, lilies, chrysanthemums. And sun-flowers. Sun-flowers, carried away to houses all over London; to be arranged in jars and vases, just waiting for another Van Gogh to capture their golden shine.
Later, we'd mingled among the crowds in Brick Lane. We'd paused to gaze at old cameras laid out on a blanket on the ground, wondering how many of them still worked. We'd walked on, speaking in slightly hushed tones of the scary-looking man who'd been trying to sell them. The shops at each side of the road shouted out to us that old was vintage, that second-hand was previously loved. We picked our way through the groups of dark tattooed men in skinny jeans and the blonde fake-tanned girls in tiny shorts. All around us, people were eating and drinking, shouting and laughing, oblivious of the huge yellow signs on the walls above their heads, urging them to 'Please use toilets provided'.
Every now and then we'd got separated. One of us stopped to peer through a window, while the others walked on; one of us crossed the road to admire a painting, while another was distracted by the scents of a perfume shop. It would have been so easy to lose each other, to get caught up in the never-ending flow of browsers and shoppers, residents and tourists. But then we'd look ahead, and there was Kelly, holding the wooden handle of her yellow umbrella, waving it above her head like a wind-blown dandelion.
Yellow, the brightest yellow. The colour of sunshine and laughter on a summer Sunday, the colour of friendship.