A good day today, my mind now in a good place. A day in the London office, just to remind me of three years’ commuting to work for the Home Office (2001-04). Loved the jobs I had, on the whole, but the travelling eventually got to me.
Doing the commute on very much an occasional basis now suits me much more, though I wouldn’t have said so at 5:30 this morning when the alarm went off, in time for me to catch the 6:50 to Waterloo. It wasn’t absolutely desperate for me to get to the office that early, and after waking up at 2:43, 3:38, 4:16 and 4:55, each time thinking that it was about 5:29, I decided to have an extra couple of minutes’ snooze. So at 6:33 (yes, that’s not a miss-type) I roused, shaved, showered, dressed, breakfasted and got to the station in plenty of time for the 8:08. The day in the office was a success, getting all the stuff I needed done, writing a paper to deadline, preparing for the 14:00 meeting, chairing it, having some great contributions from others and also having more than useful discussions with a colleague who travelled down from Scotland. All good so far.
Thankfully, the pleasing nature of the day buffered me against all things that could go wrong or things that could niggle me. A 25 minute walk back to Waterloo (so making 50 minutes’ walking today – normally an amount barely worth getting out of bed for) was pleasant enough, always looking like rain but never delivering. Trains and train stations somehow can bring out, if not the worst, at least the less tolerant side of people. Firstly, a rather pompous bloke was complaining about his train being delayed by, I think, no more than about 10 or 15 minutes. He was demanding from some poor station employee that they pay his taxi fare to get back to his home in Guildford in time for what, I do not know. He was barely a whisker away from a “don’t you know who I am?” moment. Which reminds me. The conversation I would most like to have in the world is this – where I play the part of a public sector employee or minion being harassed by some jumped-up person not quite as important as he thinks he is. “Don’t you know who I am?” he says, to which I reply, “I don’t, and by the way, it’s whom I am, not who“. Ok, I’m very sad, fussy, pedantic and if that really is better than a conversation with Katy Perry about the merits of the Kama Sutra, then it’s a sad world. But it would be funny, to me at least.
I manage to get a seat. Quiet zones – what a great idea…….in theory. There’s one woman on my train who hasn’t quite got the hang of them. A quiet zone is not there so that everyone else will be quiet while you phone your, probably long-suffering, telly hubby to get him to turn the oven on. A text would have sufficed, I’m sure. The next minute, a chap gets on with headphones on that cannot mask the volume of music. The woman now sat next to him asks him (quite reasonably) to turn it down “a little” and this chap does before rather sarcastically apologising for “invading your personal space”. I don’t believe they exchange another word during the journey.
Yeah, so a good day. Back on the ‘looking forward to’ side of the scales now regarding my walk – and the good thing, the especially good thing, is that I will be walking…………….and not taking the train! Why Gullible’s Travels? Someone once said “let the train take the strain” – so I must be.