Tag Archives: London

7/7 Attacks

The US has 9/11, we now have 7/7. But in the UK, 9/11 would be 11/9, because it makes more sense (to us) – day, month, year. Increasing unit size, in line with the INTERNATIONAL STANDARD 8601.

But with 7/7, there are no such worries! We can bandy ‘7/7’ around at will, without any danger of confusion. So that’s a bit of a silver lining.

We will never forget 7th July, or the 9th of November.

Talking of silver linings, the environment got a boost last Thursday.

Back At Work In A Very Quiet Office

After yesterday morning was spent trying to contact people and figure out what was happening, Paddington station and it’s offices were evacuated at 1230. So we wandered (actually strode purposefully) down to the junction between Sussex Gardens and London Street, and pondered what to do. It had started to rain by this point. After managing to get through on my mobile to Mairi, despite Vodafone’s emergency protocols, I decided to just head home.

So, I walked south through Hyde Park, getting wetter and wetter, stopped at the Serpentiene for a sandwich, and eventually hit Kensington Gore, which was cordoned off. I asked a very helpful policeman which way I should head to get back to Tooting. He suggested I buy a stout pair of walking shoes (ha ha – my compfy work shoes were already soaking by this point) and head down Queensgate.

This I did. It was funny to see groups of tourists with umbrellas and maps – “Welcome to London, you poor sods”. Now, I’ll hand over the narration to this fantastic GMaps Pedometer tool, based on the fantastic Google Maps. Click the links below to see my journey stages…

So there you have it. I got in at about 1530, dried off, had a cake that Mairi had bought for me, and had a nice nap, while the TV news played a video loop of a Retriever sniffing around a Porsche Boxter at Kings Cross.

Explosions In London

From my office in Paddington station, you can hear sirens. We’ve been asked to put the blinds down over the windows. My Vodafone mobile is receiving texts, but replying doesn’t work. It’s not receiving any calls.

I’m fine, but feeling a bit nervous. Info is a bit sparse. One colleague was on the Edgware Road tube train.

I’m still not carrying a fucking ID card.

London Gets The Olympics

I heard the happy shouts on Paddington station from my window. London wins something! Wonderful, I guess. Not much of a sports fan at all, but it’s still cool.

And the celebrations begin!

Unfortunately, this means lots of crappy comedians, and the kind of people who email PM on Radio 4, will be telling all sorts of crappy ‘Urban Olympics’ jokes about what events will be added, for example

  • 100m dash carrying a stolen car stereo
  • Synchronised Happy Slapping
  • 1500m Trying To Be Funny in an email to PM on Radio 4

And so on.

Number 73

I used to ride the 73 bus from Euston to Kings Cross when I was feeling lazy, or when it was raining. This here site is a journal dedicated to this particular route, and very interesting it is too.

My Baby Takes The Morning Train

There’s a small problem with trying to get a good view from Blackfriars bridge at 8.45am, and that is the trains. There you are, nicely seated, while around you people jostle in that wonderfully English way, without actually touching. The opening bars of “Good Times” by Spiritualized is playing on the old MD (single version, ta very much), the mist is just allowing the Canary Wharf Tower strobe to show through, and what should hove into place but a sodding great Connex EMU.

Not to worry, it got out of the way in time to let me see the monochrome hell of Mondial House. Hooray!

P.s. graffiti perp ‘Tox’ – your tag is really boring. I mean, “Tox 03”? So last year.

Try To Look Cool

Friday evening straight from work, grab a sandwich, then to Kick, a cafe bar with a late license in Shoreditch.

The place has a real South American feel to it, peeling paint, bright colours and football tables. These last give the bar their name. Real heavy ones too – battered aluminium goals, heavy frames, beaten-up players, and much replaced linoleum pitch surface.

When I arrived, I was faced with that phenomena known as “being the first to arrive at the bar”. While you’re occupied at the bar buying the first of many Happy Hour beers, it’s OK. But then what?

There’s no stools free at the bar, the first choice for the lone social drinker. It’s Friday 6pm – there are no tables free. So condemned I was to stand around, looking at the various posters on the wall (Incognito being supported by The Average White Band? WTF? Oh right – I get them mixed up with Great White. Or was it Big Black?)

Finally a sofa becomes free, so I nip over, and gladly sink in…

…up to my neck. I turns out to be one of those comedy sofas bars keep to entertain the regulars. My knees were round my ears, but I managed to scrawl this off before the others arrived.

What followed was a rather fun evening, revolving mainly around the fact that from 5-7pm, the beers are £1.50. We had 18 lined up on the table at one stage.

It’s just non-stop craziness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

Look At Choo Choo

I was getting the train home the other day, waiting at Kings Cross Thameslink, watching the mice on the tracks. The train I wanted was delayed by about 20 minutes. Oh well. When it arrived, everyone squeezes on, but I manage to get a seat. We trundle off to Farringdon, then we sit there for 15 minutes. Then comes the announcement.

“Due to a technical problem, this train is now out of service. Please de-train”

Chiz moan drone. Everybody piles out again, and waits on the platform.

Now, this all sounds pretty annoying, and it was, but hey, it’s pretty rare, and it wasn’t too chilly. No, the bit that really got to me was the series of banal platitudes spewing forth from the mouth of the man, sorry, git standing next to me.

Here are some gems from this modern comic genius:

  • “I could have walked home by now”
  • When the defective train moved out of the station to make room for the next one – “It looks alright to me!”
  • The announcer repeated the message, “Due to a technical problem…” he said “What sort of technical problem! If you were more specific, I’d be happier!”. O would you. Would you understand what it meant? Do you think they are lying about there being a fault? You bloody cretin.

OK, we’re all a bit pissed off with the situation, but for the love of all things holy, SHUT the FUCK UP.

So anyway. After a few more of these gems, I muttered, “Jesus” under my breath. His female companion looked at me sharply. It would appear these comments were supposed to be for her – so why he used his braying knowall voice I don’t know.

Next train arrived, squeezed on, got a corner seat, dozed off, home. Tada.

Hmm. This blog is turning into a mixture of grumpiness, moaning and crappy reviews. But don’t worry, boppers, all will change soon, because I’m getting involved in some more theatre stuff, so that will give me lots of juicy angst and stress to vent forth about. Keep watching the skies.

Urban DK

Waiting to cross the road this morning, I saw that the nice silver jewellery shop by Streatham station has closed, to be replaced by – you guessed it – a pound shop! Like Streatham needs another one.

It’s really depressing to think that a nice shop can’t make enough to survive in a shithole like Streatham, while another shop selling poor quality plastic goods can? I mean for flip’s sake, McDonald’s closed in Streatham. I don’t patronise McDonald’s much (“Well, they do their best” – ho ho) but when I did enter the Streatham branch, they didn’t have any fries. NO FRIES. It must have been run and staffed by idiots, which is a common problem in Streatham.

Also affected are all the supermarkets – once when trying to find falafel in Safeway, the member of staff hadn’t heard of it, and in fact grimaced when I described it.

To top that, eventually they asked the store manager, and they hadn’t heard of it either. Jeez. Found it in the end, next to the steaks and veal probably.

Anyway, McDonalds closed, and was replaced by – wait for it – a pound shop. However, shortly after that, another pound shop along the road closed, and was replaced by – oooo the suspense – KFC.

So you can’t say that the planning department doesn’t have our, and the community’s, best interests at heart.