Wednesday 10 June 2009
This is a true story. Arise the tube scabs.
I wake up this morning not knowing what to expect from London today. Already feeling tired for a few (many) moments I am convinced that today is the end of the week.
The news proves as useful a guide as a chocolate teapot. Instead of letting us know where we all stand with Bob Crow’s decisions today, GMTV decides to run as its main story the mugging of Rachel Stevens and subsequent theft of her engagement ring. Is this really such a big story? Someone somewhere probably sent in some hoods to “do her” in order to get the tube strike story bumped down on the headlines. I dunno, perhaps this story would have been a bit more newsworthy had she been assaulted or raped in the process. This would have lent the story a bit of punch and made it less lightweight when offered to anyone with any concern or intellect towards the world. Am I wrong?
There needs to be a war on celebrities.
The walk to the station is sombre this morning and when I reach the station, the platform is pleasantly sparse – this is almost a golden age.
Boarding the train at Colchester is a gay Bruce Dickinson lookalike. I do not warm to him or his aged wardrobe (closet).
My soundtrack for this morning’s mission and commution war is the first The Jesus Lizard set from last month’s ATP which the gentleman Henry at Chunklet has put on his website. It sounds amazing.
At Kelvedon Mrs Baker Street lookalike sits opposite me and inbetween the Nam-esqe flashbacks of working at that place this can only serve as a very bad omen for the day ahead.
Later at Chelmsford the Boring Couple man (Mr Boring Couple) sits in the seat near me. Whenever he does this he never sits properly and always appears to huff and puff over this fact. I bet he took that throne reluctantly.
As a person that doesn’t “do” buses today represents something of a task and obstacle. Riding into town on my speeding National Express chariot I check the TFL website and see that some tube lines are running but surprisingly the Central Line is out. The RMT seem to be indulging in serving up some kind of reminder as to what it was like 8/7 (the day after). Bob Crow is a very bolshy man that should be admired for his clout but also during moments such as these you can only but despite him as he flexes his muscles not really proving much of a point that we didn’t know already. Is this all the fault of Boris? Probably not, more it is the result of an old school “I’m all right Jack” mentality that has few places to thrive and bear influence these days.
My secret plan for today is to turn up late to work regardless so that it adds weight to a holiday request for tomorrow. That’s some A-Team shit right there.
As we reach Liverpool Street I notice that the train is falling apart. This however does/can not excuse the delay of the fucking thing as we pull into the station at 8.07.
While we sit beached outside Liverpool Street The Jesus Lizard set from ATP on my iPod (now playing for a second time) appears to be annoying the Boring Couple from Chelmsford man. GOOD!
Upon stepping out into Liverpool Street this morning I find myself met with chaos that I was not expecting. The queues for buses are painful and the ones for taxi cabs are even longer. With the sun half out I decide to walk my way across London, maybe even all the way to St Johns Wood.
Such a decision appears foolhardy as I soon/quickly lose my way in the city and find myself going in circles as I brush against Moorgate and Barbican when I thought I was actually closing in on Holborn. I always get lost in the city.
About an hour after arriving in London I appear to be finally on course as I pass St Pauls onto Chancery Lane and soon Holborn. Once out of The City and into the West End this is an area that I know like the back of my hand, not least for having partaken in various job interviews in and around here two years ago. That, employment agencies and study.
It is a very busy day in the capital today. As my feet begin to ache my pace begins to slip and occasionally people begin to shuffle past me. Things verge on nasty when one guy (some pussy) with a ridiculously huge bag knocks into me a couple of times. As I shove the bag back he turns and gets a bit tetchy with me. I probably mutter/mumble “fuck off” in his direction. I could kick his ass.
To compound my job this morning the clouds begin to grey over and spit begins to drawl/drop out of the sky. Fortunately it never really fully kicks in but it does add just about the correct amount of discomfort to royally get me down, dirty and depressed.
Passing Holborn I look out for the places (the New Connaught Rooms etc) where we went after the Baker Street Christmas Bash two years ago, mainly the deli. No dice.
As 9.30 hits I find myself on Oxford Street, avoiding the drizzling rain and about to browse in HMV. I flick through the seven inches and decide against buying any as they would only serve as evidence of my slacking off. I text Racton and he informs me that he has already been in work for some considerable amount of time. I sense some judgement in the tone of his text.
Slowly walking along the Central Line the tube stations begin to appear more open and I suspect this means services on lines other than the Central are operating to some degree.
After popping into Borders and buying the final ever episode of Plan B magazine (a sad day/sign), as I begin listening to The Jesus Lizard set for a fourth time this morning I step into Bond Street station in the hope that the Jubilee Line will service me. As I walk onto the platform it is almost a ghost station, there is no indication that there is a train running but equally there is no indication that there is not. The fact that the platform is open means that something is working. After a ten minute wait I hit pay dirt.
As the train stops at Baker Street (the cursed Baker Street) it is announced that the train won’t be stopping at St Johns Wood. Another fucking hiccup.
Eventually I get off the tube at Swiss Cottage and end up walking down from there to the restaurant in the pouring miserable rain. When I finally step through the door the time is now 10.40. I get in fucking fed up feeling that my efforts are unappreciated. Obviously everybody else is already in and as I recount the tale of my journey it isn’t the most eventful or enlightening. The fact I walked from Liverpool Street to Bond Street is a pure act of stupidity, impressive from one angle but moronic from a more sensible perspective.
Arriving in such a huff the working day never really gets started as it is stop start all the way.
For lunch I have lemon chicken and French fries, comfort food and a sure-fire indicator/representation of my misery.
In the afternoon I finally make adjustments that have taken me a week to pull together and make. In reality the adjustments shouldn’t even have taken an hour to calculate if I had been able to attack them with a clear run. This isn’t overly efficient.
The afternoon falls apart when I discover my P&L spreadsheets have been wrecked and all the links now point to the consultant (and a temporary internet files folder with his name). I cannot believe after all the problems that we have had with our spreadsheet links that this guy has just come along and ripped my key reporting schedule to shreds.
Royally I kick off, bouncing my mouse off the desk a couple of times and looking to do the same with the keyboard. His intervention has been a bodge from day one and now he is intruding and fucking up some of the key areas that I have nailed. Suddenly my day is complete, my work and travel share similar results. The day ends and I just want to kill. I rant I rave and go home in a stinking mood.
The Girl gives me a lift to Swiss Cottage tube station, bless her. As we head out to her car it is amongst confusion and further offers of lifts, which are kind gestures only met with my still steaming and unintentional snapping.
Even this short journey isn’t calm as some angry guy attempts (and succeeds) to cut her up in a very sharp manner/motion. As she shouts out the window at him we get stuck in traffic behind the prick and in my mood I offer to hop out of the car and shout at him some. This is my mood.
Stepping into Swiss Cottage thankfully the Jubilee Line is still running and I proceed to do the 45 minute Nike swish down and up to Stratford. Tactically I sit as far away from anyone on the train as possible. Right now the tube is relatively quiet/empty but you just know once it gets central it will fill India-like.
The journey is arduous and unhealthy. I just sit seething, beaten and depressed by the London day. Finally getting to Stratford is a true relief and getting onto an actual train Essex bound is a HUGE relief.
While waiting for the train at Stratford I notice a guy, a real bruiser, from Millwall. Would it be enough to acknowledge him just off the back of this fact/knowledge? Not really. I wonder what the hell he is doing heading home in this direction. I have heard word of a lot of ‘Wall moving to Essex in the past few years but I have never recognised anyone getting on my train. Eventually when our train arrives he winds up sitting next to me and the cunt just terrifies me even though it would seem/appear we have Millwall in common. In fact the volume of my iPhone appears to niggle him. Don’t poke the bear in the zoo.
Perversely the reality at the end of the day is that I arrive back into Colchester around 7.45 amongst several Twitter/Facebook postings of “fuck the RMT.” Getting into 7.45 isn’t even thirty minutes later than I would get back usually. I would seem the Jubilee Line is the way to go.
BNP and RMT – what a bad week for initials it has been.
The last laugh of the day goes against me however as my feet are now torn to shreds.
When I get to the olds at Balkerne Heights it is with England vs Andorra in a World Cup qualifier on ITV tonight. Painfully their loud neighbour is around so a while it is tough to concentrate on the game.
England stroll, sometimes sleepwalk, through the game. When Rooney scores after four minutes they have already won. By halftime the score is 3-0.
Tonight the 1966 World Cup veterans appear to be honoured for something or other (probably the act of still being alive) and when they snag Jimmy Greaves for an interview at halftime the guy remains a pundit legend as he begins ripping into Andorra, saying how he and his fellow 1966 team-mates could be beating them tonight. With this ITV swiftly conclude/end the interview, yanking Greavesy off air for just having an opinion. Sad.
In the second half England take even more of a stroll attitude to proceedings and take almost half an hour to add any more goals when in the 73rd minute Defoe scores before adding a fifth (his second) a couple of minutes later and Crouch eventually finishes the game at 6-0.
With my feet still bubbling and aching I head home to Bohemian Grove where the falling asleep to TV options for tonight are Big Brother and the movie Insomnia.
The movie Insomnia particularly sends chills down my spine as it reminds me of my hell trip to Sacramento six years ago and this was one of the movies (along with “Lovely And Amazing”) that my Gringo Records cohort’s girlfriend’s mum rented from the video store while I was stoned and giggling before being introduced to urban fries. That evening the four of us sat watching “Insomnia” which turned out to be a really bad movie as later the legend grew of how my friend’s mum (or “mom”), who had already taken a shine to me because I liked her dog, tried to grab my hand on the sofa while encouraging that we stay the night.
Americans – they’re fucked in the head.
I pass out.