So, I have come away to Manchester for work. I was at work today, then out for a nice meal with a group of clients tonight and exhibiting at a conference tomorrow.
My (actually rather light and small) bag contains: leggings, two tops, jewellery, jacket, trousers, boots, shoes, shampoo, conditioner, mousse, frizz-ease, make-up, perfume, pyjamas, knickers, socks, deodorant, small handbag, make-up remover cloths, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush, hairspray…as well as the usual stuff in my regular handbag.
My lovely male colleague has a tiny backpack containing: shirt, pants, socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant.
That is all.
Last night was awful. Since I have been getting the Overground from Camden, my journey hasn’t been too bad, but last night was a classic example of how lack of communication, and expectation that “It wont be too bad” really takes advantage of London commuters.
So, trains from Camden Road are at *.*1 every ten minutes, and last night I left work at 5 for a change and was aiming to get the 5.11 train. When I got to the station, it said that it was expected in at 5.14 – not TOO bad I guess. Then it started raining and I didn’t have a brolly. Or a coat.
Every time it got to 1 minute before the ‘Exp’ time, it changed to another couple of minutes later, and eventually the 5.11 was due in at 5.27, with the 5.21 due in at 5.26 – which was clever.
It was raining, I was tired, I had been thinking all day and they weren’t communicating at all, so I just stood there on the platform along with everyone else, wet and a bit sniffly watching trains arriving on time going in the other direction and not knowing whether to walk to the Underground or not!
Then the 5.11 and 5.21 apparently disappeared, and the 5.31 was expected at 5.49, which I thought was just taking the piss, so I got the 5.30 in the other direction to Gospel Oak and got the 5.50 from there to Walthamstow Queens Road. WQR is a weird station, completely in a residential setting that I walked past once in the 13 years I’ve lived in the Stow, but only have a general idea of its location!
Turns out the walk home is twice as long as usual, so I was not happy when I eventually got in – wet, tired and hungry.
I’d been in less than three minutes when the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it!” said The Man – “Oooo, no, *I* will get it”, I replied, “And whoever it is, I am just going to fucking punch them – especially if they are British Gas AGAIN! Tossers!”
So, I went to the door, ready for a fight, wanting a fight, truth be told.
I was faced with black jacket, clipboard man. “Hi, my name’s Darren, I work for British Red Cross…”
Me: “Sorry love, I’ve worked in the charity sector for many years, and I never give to anyone when they ask me to”
Darren: “Ahh, ok, thanks for your time.”
I walked back to the lounge to my incredulous other half.
TM: “but you didn’t punch him!”
Me: “Did you really think I would?”
TM: “No, but you didn’t shout at him even!”
Me: “Yeah, I know, he was cute!”
TM: “God, you’re so shallow. I’ve walked through puddles deeper than you!”
Am I supposed to be embarrassed? He was very cute. And I’m automatically polite really – far too polite for my own good!
The past week seems to have flown by in some kind of haze. We’ve been working on a new ‘product’ at work for the past year or so which we were finally going live with at a conference in Manchester last week. This has really been my baby, and so I have been absolutely kakking it.
It’s only a new website, which should hopefully go live next week, but we hadn’t spoken to anyone about it other than a current clients – so it was going to be interesting finding out what reception it got from potential clients that we had never spoken to before.
And I get a form of ‘travel anxiety’ – so adding that to the general performance anxiety of having to do demos, and also having to mix with people that I don’t know, which is always a problem for me. So, Monday & Tuesday I got about 3 hours sleep a night before going to Manchester on Wednesday. I had rather a lot to drink on Wednesday night, mixing with some really lovely clients (and non-clients even) and ended up getting about 4 hours sleep, so I have been absolutely knackered!
And the past 3 days seem to have flown by in a bit of a daze. i have no idea what I have been doing – apart from long walk, picnic and housework, oh and catching up with TV. And having hayfever. i am sniffling even now, and I’ve already taken a ‘generic superdrug brand which isn’t Piriton but does the same thing’ pill.
Anyway – back on track now, and I’ll put my mind in order and start re-posting stuff in my head
Tonight, on my way home from work, I was fortunate enough to be a witness to one of those small miracles of London living – the holy grail of the rush hour commute – an empty tube train on the Victoria line.
And this wasn’t at the end of the line – this was 5.45pm at Euston!
You could hear the gasp of awe and wonder as it slowed down. the previous tube had only been going as far as Seven Sisters, and there were ‘minor delays’, so a Walthamstow train hadn’t come along for about 10 minutes. we all knew how crowded the next Walthamstow tube was going to be. we’d all mentally squished ourselves, re-arranging our internal organs in order to take up the minimum space possible, eyeing up our ‘competition’ to the left and the right who may try to steal ‘our’ space in oblivion. But all hail Saint Lou, patron saint of the London Underground (OK, so it was Velvet Underground, but it’s close enough), this was a miracle befitting our daily pilgrimage…a glorious empty space, bereft of hot, tightly-packed sweaty bodies.
We actually smiled at each other as we got on and all gratefully lowered our weary posteriors into the lovely squashy red and blue upholstery. People were even speaking to each other…OK, so it was nothing more than “Oh wow, an empty train, that’s amazing!”, “Yes, who would have thought?”…but that’s beside the point. When we arrived at Highbury & Islington, we all grinned through the windows at the latest dumbstruck travellers, enjoying their looks of awe and glee. And then we got to Finsbury park, and about 600 people got on, and the spell was broken.
I will always remember that little oasis of calm after my hectic day