Sunday, 28 November 2010

How to spice up a tube journey

Doors opening. Feet shuffling. Seat grabbing. Bags brushing. Headphones in. World out. Newspapers up. Doors closing.

Tube journeys are always going to be a mad uncomfortable rush. Hundreds of stressed commuters overloaded with bags cramming into an ill lit metal cylinder that crawls along a darkened track ,isn't going to be a journey of enjoyment. We bare through it, and if we're lucky, we get to do so, SEATED.

The only problem that I've found with seating, is the overwhelming desire to study the passengers sitting opposite you. It's that  unrelentless urge to examine their clothing, facial features, mannerisms and just soak up the essence of them...but you can't. The risk of them catching you looking is just too high. Thing is, if they do, you have to force a embarrassed smile then naturally, in gushes the strawberry cheeks and the rest of the journey must be spent looking at anything at all but at them. So can you not look at them at all?! No,fear not- there's a solution. Shoes.

Look down and you'll see them, a beautifully long  line of colours, shapes and  sizes all for you to examine. You can imagine up scenarios for each type, conjure up an image of the wearer and his lifestyle-all from just the shoes. It's a beautiful game.

Then again, perhaps you're not lucky enough to get a seat?  You're traveling in the rush hour and have ended up a tinned sardine, captured in hot and agitated huddle with passengers from all walks of life. You're so close you can feel their shuffling feet trampling on your toes , hear their hearts thudding, feel their hot breath settling on your skin. But it's OK. In this uncomfortable, baked beans scenario, a game can be played. Just follow the steps:
1. Source a near passenger with headphones in (it's probably harder to find one without them in to be honest...)
2. Lean in and listen closer to the song they're listening to, but make sure you're discreet.
3. Make sure you know the song, if so BINGO.
4. Now, making sure they can see you, begin mouthing the lyrics of the song they're listening to (if possible in sync)
5. Watch their facial expression

They either assume by some massive coincidence you're listening to the same song at exactly the same time on your respective i-pods or ,if you're without headphones yourself, that you just happened to have that song in your head. Either way, the look on their face is utterly priceless. In fact, that expression change from 'sick to death of this stinking monotonous journey' to 'OH DEAR LORD, WE'RE LISTENING TO THE SAME SONG AT EXACTLY THE SAME DARN TIME'  is reason alone to get  the tube.

 So, there's just a couple of tips to help ease  tube journeys. Maybe you'll find them useless, maybe life altering, who knows? But hey, all I can say is try spicing up your tube journey and give it a go...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Willy Nilly Walkers.

Right foot.........................left foot...............................right foot...........................slowly turn head and gaze in shop window.........................left foot.....................stop and switch shopping bag to other hand.............................turn head to watch swarm of people on your left.........'Is that Clara?, oo yes I think it is'..........stop to examine closer.......'no,it's not Clara'...................right foot.................make comment to companion that walks with you...................left foot.................


It's people like this that are all that is wrong with the world. It's people like this that make life just that little bit more aggravating. It's people like this that make my blood boil, my head throb and my teeth grind. You know who I mean, I can hear your insides churning too, just at the thought of them...Lord save us from the WILLY-NILLY WALKERS.

I'm talking about those people in today's fast paced society, who feel it appropriate to walk as painfully slowly as possible down busy streets and just get in the way. They clog up the pathways, induce further stress to the dashers around them and worst of all, they are completely oblivious to the mayhem they cause. They need to be removed, cast out of society all together, out of the way.

Stupidly, this weekend while speed shopping around Brent Cross ,i thought I'd find a method to avoid the irritation. I thought I could find away around the aggravating amblers and maintain a cool , clear head. And, like many of my experiments, it failed. Though, to take a drink from the glass half full,  it does provide an entertaining conversational piece at the dinner table.

So I'm rushing. I need to get the earring shop on the other end of the centre within 3 minutes, pay in 2 mins and hit the Boots downstairs before a mad dash, competing against the ticket warden to get to mum's car first. The ticket expires in 12 minutes. The race is on.
So, adrenaline pumping, heart thumping I begin to slide in and out of people and dart up the congested shopping parade.But then no, oh no, there it is. Holding everything up, nonchalantly swaying through the shopping crowds, leaving hoards of consumer traffic and angered shoppers bibbing with their furious eyes.Yes, it was none other than a Willy Nilly Walker.
Time racing, I impulsively decided I was having none of it . It was time to push on, liberate myself and take that stress relieving stride through the crowds and not crumble to the Willy Nilly. Shoulders back, spine straight and eyes fixed on the earring shop- the stride began. I surged through the crowds, feet darting meticulously through the masses, eyes looking at me in awe, marveling at my boldness. Shops blurred as I drilled on, like a spider in a snail's race-boy did it feel good.

It was in fact a little too good to be true. Head in the clouds, all of a sudden my legs hit an obstacle and I was quickly brought out of my daze and back down to the ground. Literally. I tumbled, bags flailing out in all directions, and went head first into a nut stand. The obstacle I'd hit was in  fact a mere toddler who now thought it appropriate to bawl hysterically and point at the crimson faced me, sitting sheepishly in a pool of cashew nuts.

 And do you know what was the worst thing about it all? Not the clear up of nuts off the floor in front of the hundreds of judging eyes or the hefty parking ticket that I ended up presenting to my mum, but it was that while in the process of clearing up my mess I caught a glance of the Willy Nilly Walker who, in the meantime, had made it as far as the earring shop.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

The murdering of my alarm clock

 Waking up on a winter morning to the shrill screech of an alarm clock, is soul polluting. Seriously, being dragged out of the warmth of your soft, tranquil, bedded haven, into the reality of a bitterly cold November which lunges at your shivering body with it's icy bite, cannot be made pleasant under any circumstance. Well,this week, a foolish part of me thought otherwise, and I conducted an experiment. It failed. Miserably.

I decided that I was sick to death of that sinking feeling, that viscous poison that seeps  into my mind as soon as I wake. The daunting reality of school, deadlines, and facing unresolved issues of the previous night. Climbing out of my bed(and thus out of the sweet embrace of dreams and plush bedding)and into the day, really is the hardest step. So i thought I'd have a go at making it enjoyable. I figured, if I wake up to things that make me smile, I'll be more willing to start the day. So, I took 3 steps:

1. I wrote down the address of the party I was going to that coming weekend, on a piece of paper in capitals by my bedside.
2. I set my alarm as one of my favorite songs, so I'd feel motivated to get up when  I'd hear it.
3. I Placed a hilarious picture of me and the best friend on the carpet (so I'd have to see it before I got out of the room)

It all sounds peachy, doesn't it?  It was far from it. The outcome was :

1. I woke up furiously confused and knocked the party address paper behind the dresser (which resulted in a mad panicked dash around the house on the night of the party)
2. The sound of the song I so loved, made the bitter, temperamental troll that is me in the mornings, shake with rage. Fatigue and rage, not a good mix under any circumstance, let alone the morning. Let's just say, that song is no longer a favourite and the mp3 device that played it was thrown across the room and destroyed. The sound of it shattering to pieces, now THAT, that was music to my ears.
3. When stumbling to the find a dressing gown in my darkened room, I slipped over on the picture and did considerable damage to my knee cap. Wonderful.

So, I conducted an experiment and it failed. But, on the bright side- I learned something utterly profound. Something that will stay with me for life. Something, invaluable. Just remember the 5 W's: