Thursday, January 07, 2010


Thursday 7 January 2010

Tiredness is beginning to slow creep back into my schedule but touch wood I’m coping right now.

The drive to the station is a bit of an ache this morning but not too bad.  After scraping and de-icing I soon have to stop again at the end of my drive and get rid of a little more frost from my windows.

Making the drive more difficult this morning are actually the overcautious cars driving at only 15mph creating a creeping convoy that feels as if it is being lead along a tightrope because if one car has to stop everyone will have to stop which is dicey in these conditions and could cause some kind of domino affect of cars crashing into the back of one another.  Despite seemingly people’s best efforts this does not happen though.

Upon arriving at the station unsurprisingly my 6.59AM train is cancelled which means a return to my old ways and the 7.03AM.  Immediately I spot Piers and later The Wookiee who appears to stand by me for a moment before deciding to move away.  Her frost and my aura, its poisonous.  Obviously I don’t manage to get “my seat” as it turns out to be a cramped train with two train loads boarding at once.  As we trudge onto the carriage some lanky geek in glasses pushes in front of me as we board so I proceed to nudge him and clip at his heels, which is something I have not done for quite a long time.

The journey is a predictably disrupted one as the train eventually beaches at Ilford, never a pretty sight to or for anyone.  Finally the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.33AM but which time I have given up on arriving into work on time.  As I cross the station to my tube platform the sight of a cramped platform immediately confronts me.

Not feeling up to facing the hoards I just take a seat and listen to “Rich Man’s Eight Track” by Big Black which makes for an appropriate soundtrack for my surroundings.

As I sit I watch some uptight girl run down the steps rushing to get the latest train pulling out of the platform only for the dumpy black female Information Jimmy to prevent her from running onto the train.  This causes the rushing girl to then hurl abuse at the staff member who then takes her to task and begins following her, shouting to her for an apology.  Being that Ms Information Jimmy is almost three times the size of the running girl unsurprisingly she does not hang about for the bollocking.

Slowly the platform begins to clear and as Ms Information Jimmy reels off her latest announcement she approaches me and says “did you just hear that?”  From inside my iPhone I shake my head and she rolls her head telling me (by way of having a go at me) that no trains are going beyond Baker Street.  What the fuck is she ragging on me for?  I was on her side in the little incident just now?  I guess I just have one of those faces that people like to have a pop at.

In the end I decide to just get away from Ms Information Jimmy and get on the next tube that arrives, which means one of the awkward, cramped and uncomfortable ones that stops on the wrong side of the Baker Street platform.

The journey turns out to be one of those hell rides that festers in the pit of your stomach.  As I endeavour to get out of people’s way invariably I only manage to get in people’s way.  At Kings Cross some Asian guy boards and proceeds to spend the entire journey mumbling to himself, seemingly speaking in tongues.  This man is plainly a fanatic.  I keep my eye on him checking to see if he has a rucksack in tow.  He does.  These I am lead to believe by the media are the actions and gestures of your common garden variety suicide bomber.  If he is not however he really needs to check himself in.  In the end we get to Baker Street and he gets off nonchalantly looking high as a kite.

When I get into work it is with a sense of bracing myself for the incoming/impending visit of the consultant.  I really need to get the new company’s accounts done today and I only see his appearance as being an obstacle to this.  Eventually he comes in and its ok although he does still labour the point about the intercompany balances, the balances that he screwed up from day one back in November 2008.  Not that I am bitter or counting the days.

Beyond this though I manage to sail out the day in an OK footing, not copping too much grief or stress for my efforts.

This evening I arrange to meet up with a Canadian guy called Ryan Millar who wants to interview me for an article regarding the 100 Days To Make Me A Better Person project and my Facebook Cull entry.

We set to meet at the Golden Heart on Commercial Street just around the corner of Brick Lane.  When I finally arrive there I am slightly late and then realise that we haven’t actually bothered to tell each other what we look like etc and what to look out for.  Fortunately in the end though it works out as we are kind of obvious to each other.  After an eternal wait at the bar for a pint of Kronenbourg I finally get served and we kick off.

It all turns out to be a fun and interesting meeting.  As he gets his note book out and begins recording our conversation I pull out a copy of JGRAM WORLD for him while he hands me a copy of his own work called “The Power Force”, a one-act play that he wrote about publishing.  I have a quick flick through the book and my early impressions are really good, any piece of work that contains the term/phrase “punch your lunch” has got to be good.

Tonight despite his best efforts to interview me regarding my Facebook Cull with a good line of questioning I suffer/experience a bout of verbal diarrhoea (such is what I do).  Evidently it would appear to me that he thinks there is more thought being put into my little project than there actually is.  I just want to get some laughs from doing something (a Facebook cull) I have been intending to do for a long time.

Eventually our conversation meanders off topic and into areas of real/more interest as we discuss writing, books, comedy and football.  I think we are both on the same page thankfully and with Ryan new in London (from Canada via Belgium and Italy) there are lots of sights and sounds to tell him about.  Also when he discusses the idea of doing a comedy about an artist I am to jump right in with references to Nathan Barley and The Rebel, which to foreign ears possibly makes me sound quite enlightened.

Soon we get onto the subject of football and as ever people are interested in the fact that I support Millwall.  It turns out that Ryan is a Roma fan and is “looking” for an English club.  He doesn’t seem enthusiastic on supporting a big four club but he doesn’t seem interested in going below the Premiership either.  His compromise appears to be Aston Villa who unfortunately for me are a club that have never really registered in any capacity on my football map.  Obviously I try to sell him on the wonders of supporting Millwall but knowing that the experience of going to a Millwall game is either the best or worst a football fan can have (sadly more often the latter) I find it too much of a hard sell as memories of dragging various friends to dull games stifle me.

Ultimately it is great fun and super refreshing just to talk to another writer.  Looking towards the future perhaps we might eventually be in a position to bounce ideas off each other or maybe even collaborate.  Maybe.

Around 8PM he has to get moving but thankfully we both acknowledge it has been fun to meet up and talk writing/books.  We shake hands and head off in our respective directions.

A few minutes later I find myself back at Liverpool Street and boarding the 8.18PM train where I suddenly discover that I am a little tipsy and in dire need of toilet.  My heart sinks as the first toilet I find on the train is “out of service” which promptly sees me actually jumping off the train and onto the next carriage in search of the allusive and hallowed bathroom.

Thankfully I finally discover one and it turns out to be one of those with a huge sliding door, which always serves to open like some kind of revelation of a prize on a game show.  As I step inside the cocoon relief comes immediately with my visit and release.

Emerging from the modern WC I decide to sit close to the pod in the likelihood that I may need it again pretty swiftly.  Sitting close to the toilet I am now inadvertently privilege to the sight of all the other tourists and visitors to it and later I observe hilarity with ensues as a very attractive young black lady (in Kanye t-shirt and cool boots) forgets to yank the lock down causing some poor guy to literally step in on her when he requires his own tinkle.

When she emerges thankfully she smiles (instead of blowing her rape whistle) as he apologies and all is put right with the world.  I however get a scowl from the girl having been observing the incident like a naughty voyeur.

All things toilet related however take a turn for the worse when I make my inevitable second visit only to clock that the guy (the intruder) before me has managed to block it up.  Thankfully there is no debris to disgust me, it is all internal.  He probably did this due to being so thoroughly full of shame and embarrassment).  Still I proceed to do my necessary work and when I attempt to flush the toilet afterwards I promptly knock it out of order, ruining it for everybody and now becoming the responsible party.  Honest, it wasn’t me guv.

From here I return to my seat and watch the black girl preen herself and apply makeup for her Thursday night ahead (it’s the new Friday!)  Eventually she clocks me perving but really I think I have other things on my mind than her sticky fingers.

Finally the train gets back to Colchester in decent time and getting home comes with a real sense of relief this evening.

All is good.

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