Friday, July 07, 2006

Friday 7 July 2006 – World Cup Day 29

As I speed to work this morning I appear to be trying my best to crash my car.

Today is the one year anniversary of the 7/7 tube bombings. And as way to mark this fact people appear to be carrying additional luggage on the trains in abundance. There is a solemn air to the train journey this morning, it is probably a mental mark out respect (or paranoia) that the trains appear quiet this morning. By way of comfort additional travel police are visible by their numbers.

The two minutes silence at midday is painful and excruciating. Last year we all marked the silence (barring one exception) by standing outside the studio and paying our respects. This year we don’t even budge from our desks, although we all (barring the same one exception, taping away at his computer keyboards) sit quiet fidgeting for two minutes. Comments are made that it “really makes it hit home” but ultimately it is just one of those things that need to be done.

7/7 also marks the return of Chris and Sofie from Denmark. OK, they came back yesterday but today is the first time that we get to see them since they have got back. Plans are hatched for a meet up this evening which, on a blazing July day such as today, is one of the best ideas any of us have had in a long time.

A 6.20 meet up at Oxford Circus is proclaimed and with that in mind, it is very curious as to why I get off at Bond Street on the Central Line. My mind must be a million places elsewhere. I promptly struggled down Bond Street, doing the tourist hurdles with view to meeting up with our chums at Argyle Street. By the time I finally seem them again I find myself spitting chips at tourists.

Chris, Sofie, Racton and I head to a Miso where I request and order the spiciest thing on the menu. Ultimately it doesn’t satisfy. Chris and Sofie tell us about the dodgy landlords and estate/letting agents that they have had showing them around pads in North London before moving on to their new found love for Kaisers Chiefs are seeing their set at Roskilde. I admire such letting loose of ones ex-indie cred.

From there we head over to the Jon Snow pub in deepest darkest Central London. In some kind of miracle occurrence we manage to get a table on a Friday night, albeit next to the door where I repeatedly get nudged and drinks spilled on me.

Justin and Helen soon turn up and the night really is on form especially Justin. Eventually Mark turns up and we reach a social number of lucky seven. Mark however bumps into some people he appears to know (he does this everywhere he goes), people with the worst style sense known to man. It turns out they are old Grammar school friends which thoroughly adds up, people approaching 30 still with acne are not the result of mainstream alpha male education.

Of course the little Chinese fella comes into the pub selling DVDs and cigarettes. I’m always tempted but never enough to actually buy. Today however he has The Break Up which is still weeks away from hitting the cinemas. Sadly though, tonight I am not cash rich.

The night begins to verge on heavy and Chris marks his return royally when some fool in our group points out a guy at the bar with his ample arse crack hanging out to which Chris promptly sticks a pencil in (or is it down?) said builders bum. The guy turns around, removes the pencil and puts it in his mouth. Our table, redfaced, has no idea where to look or turnaround to hide out embarrassment. What on earth was going through Chris’ mind? I point out to him that had he done that to me I would have been tempted to “stick the fucking pencil in your eye”. Oh well, he lives to fight another day.

I had never intended for tonight to be a big one, not least for the fact the Office Space is on TV (nice to see my priorities remain straight – ahem!). As I bid farewell Mark grabs me and apologises for ditching us for his school buddies this evening. It’s a poor show but not the first time. He adds however that he will “definitely” come along to the RISE festival with us tomorrow but I’ll be that when that happens, I have heard that “definitely” from him one too many times before.

Friday night rides home on the train can be the stuff of pure hell evil. Tonight however the deal gets slightly sweetened when I am able to pick up both the latest Hotdog and Uncut in one foul swoop (Hotdog especially cool for featuring Bettie Page on the cover this month).

I check GPRS to find out who got evicted on Big Brother – unsurprisingly it was the beastwoman with huge tits Lea. Oh well one less arsehole in the house that I want to see hurt themselves.

Tonight’s Friday night train home verges on the stuff of horror. More so than ever there seems to be teens in hoodies roaming up and down the train aisles. And when the woman in the seat opposite me asks if the train is stopping at Chelmsford, I am terrified to reply in fear that this might require extras on my part. From Shenfield to Chelmsford two gung-ho lads get on the train and talk to eachother very loudly, possibly coked up, probably high on life and very latently homoerotic with it. I thank my stars that they get off at Chelmsford before they take up the option to attack me mentally and physically. However the Gold Star of the night goes to the young lad on his own pacing up and down the train carriages it appears in search of a toilet. He turns out to be the drunkest little soldier in history and more than once prat falls in the most spectacular manner. He registers 6.0 per me as we thankfully pull up into Colchester and he falls, phone in hand, royally into/onto some seats, slipping onto the floor, never to return again. I can only hope that he knocked himself unconscious, knocking some sense into himself in the process. He has an audience in the process and we all laugh at him. I laugh until the point that I realise that that was me just a couple of short years ago.

I get home in good time for Office Space only to fall asleep roughly ten minutes into the movie, around the point of the first Michael Bolton joke. I failed myself tonight.

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