As I rose from my seat on the Victoria Line this morning at Highbury & Islington, I closed the cover of my Kindle, and a scratchcard that I had shoved into my bag for safe-keeping fell from the cover where it had become jammed.
I stooped to pick it up, when glancing down, my commute neighbour kissed her teeth and quite audibly announced “SINNER!!”.
I assumed that she was referring to my obviously disgusting gambling ‘habit’, so I looked her straight in the eye, gave her a massive grin and said “Oh hunny, believe me, I sin a HELL of a lot more than THIS!!”
As I moved towards the door with my fellow alighters, i couldn’t quite work out whether the comical expression on her face was horror, disgust or shock that I had challnged her ideals
Whichever it was, it was well worth it!
So, I was just coming home on the Victoria line, and first of all, there was one of those people who REALLY gets on my wick.
A woman IN RUSH HOUR with four kids of about 6 – 13 on a crowded tube, and she had let them all have seats when there were paying adults standing!!!
That REALLY pisses me off. I mean, really. Whenever I used to go on public transport, I ALWAYS had to give my seat up if there was a grown-up standing. And it’s exactly the same with the girl. I have never allowed her to take a seat if there is anyone else standing.
But then, to add insult to injury, this heavily pregnant woman got on at King’s Cross, so I said to her:
Me: Would you mind giving up one of your seats for this lady
Bitch Mother: Why?
Me (shocked): Erm, isn’t it obvious?
Me: she’s pregnant!
BM: So – that’s not MY problem
At this point, the pregnant woman says thanks to me but not to worry, and then thankfully a young guy gave her his seat.
BM: See – all sorted
Me: I can’t believe you need to be such a bitch
BM: Oh *I* am the bitch, am I?
Anyway, although I was seething, I couldn’t think of anything else really to say that hadn’t already been said and the Bitch Mother KNEW it, and so she put her bag down on the floor, got her book out, looked at me all smug like, and started reading.
And I grabbed my only opportunity to get any form of revenge on her at all – middle-class and crap as it may be.
She was reading One Day byDavid Nicholls, so I said “Great book, by the way…” and told her the ending. (I wont say exactly what I said as there may be people reading who haven’t read it yet.
Her face was like thunder, but she didn’t say anything. I felt SO much better
This morning, I witnessed something that probably shouldn’t have amused me, but it really really did.
As I was walking to the Underground gates in Walthamstow Central, this small (and pretty old) Chinese woman went rushing past me to go up to the National Rail platform.
She was way shorter than me (and I’m only 5ft5 in these heels), and probably well into her 70s, but she zoomed past me, caught her bag on someone else’s bag, turned back to apologise, so didn’t look where she was going and completely took out this young black guy who was about 6ft5!
I mean REALLY took him out – we saw his feet go up into the air and everything – it was breathtaking!
He didn’t know whether to be embarrassed, angry or amused – you could see the confusion on his face as he slowly got back to his feet.
And the woman? She just ran off, up the stairs! Classic!
(NB: The photo wasn’t what I was looking for, but when I did a search to find a pic to illustrate my story, I came across it, and it reminded me of this entry that I made in the summer.)
I got The Girl back a couple of days ago, and I couldn’t be happier about it. The way I am feeling at the moment is a far cry from the way I was feeling when I wrote this entry.
Today we’ve been having a Lazy Day, in fact she’s not even bothered getting out of her PJs, the lazy mare.
She wanted to spend some time at home, as she’s barely been here the past few weeks. she wanted to play on her computer, watch TV (we watched a couple of episodes of Samantha Who and Being Erica and then sang along to Moulin Rouge and she laughed while I cried to it, as I always do!).
Yesterday we had rushed around getting new uniform, shoes, tights, applying for her first Oyster card, and then we went to see The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. It was actually pretty good. If you go along with no expectations, and expect to be entertained by some great special effects and not have to think at all, it’s just what the doctor ordered.
The Girl thought it was fab, and I found it completely watchable. Although I have been watching Roger & Val Have Just Got In the last couple of weeks, so it was odd seeing Alfred Molina being an all-powerful evil sorcerer after that!
I did like the fact that they recreated the original Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene from fantasia, together with the music. that was a nice touch.
Tomorrow, I will be doing something extremely scary. I will be getting a set of house keys cut for The Girl. I find this difficult to deal with. To me, this is the most significant sign that she is growing up. Very hard to deal with
I do still get to tease her though – I noticed a guy on the Tube home on wednesday night that was obviously eavesdropping on our conversation and smirking to himself.
I can’t remember how it started, but she was saying soemthing about me being stuck with her for the rest of my life as she is my daughter and the most important thing in the world to me…ha!!!
Me: But you’re not really my daughter – I just found you
TG: No, you didn’t. You’re my mum.
Me: Nah, I found you in a skip.
TG: No you didn’t. You gave birth to me (this was said a little too loud for my liking)
Me: Nope. Not me. You could be anyone’s!
TG: No. I’m yours. *pause* Like who?
Me: You could be a princess, for all you know.
TG: Nah. Boring.
Me: Or you could be the real daughter of someone famous. You could be the secret child of Robbie Williams
TG: Well, that would account for my singing voice
Me: Yeah – you are a bit rubbish, aren’t you?
TG: *gives me the evil eye*
The journey to work this morning was a bit of a pain – one of the gorgeous new Victoria Line trains had broken down (tut!) and so everything was backed up behind it. this meant that it was all very crowded on our tube.
We got to Finsbury Park and this tiny female octogenarian got on. As I was sitting closest to the door, I let her have my seat. She was with this young gay, obviously gay, in his early 20s and foreign – but so softly spoken that I couldn’t quite work out the accent. It sounded spanishy.
Now she was quite gregarious, giggly and a bit loud, which made the contrast between the two of them even greater -(I was trying to work out if he was a carer, grandson etc) and although I wasn’t trying to eavesdrop (at first), a couple of her remarks just reeled me in.
I so wish I could have heard what he was saying, but he was just too soft. however, her responses included a couple of the best lines I have overheard recently!
“It would be great to see him again – and he would LOVE to see me for sure – I can still do the splits, you know!”
And – my favourite.
“No dear, I stopped being a witch ages ago – it was getting far too dangerous!”
Today I made it into the office for the first time since I did my leg in on 10th Feb!! Yay me!!!
It has been a steep learning curve. Things that I have learned today so far include:
- People generally seem to walk very quickly
- People with walking sticks seem to talk to you if you’ve got a walking stick
- You don’t get much time to get off of a tube train
- When you’re on the tube, you tend to get your feet/legs knocked quite a bit – I had never noticed this before!
- Traffic lights don’t seem to stay red for very long
- It is easier to go up stairs than down
- Our stairs at the office are very VERY steep
- It took me an extra 20 minutes to get from front door to desk
- It’s still easy to scoot around on an office chair with one fully functioning leg
- The printer/kitchen/toilet feel far further from my desk than they were when I was last in the office
I will now continue learning!
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