Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday 28 June 2010 – WORLD CUP DAY EIGHTEEN

Awakening in anticipation of my alarm clock this morning I find myself restless ahead of necessary time.  I’m looking forward to the news today, to the many dissenting voices pointing out how shit and disgusting the England team were in performance yesterday.  They deserve it, they just were not acceptable.

Outside it is another sunny sunny warm warm day.  Surely we are peaking now, this summer sensibly cannot getting any hotter.

I fuck up early, plainly distracted by the football I forget to pick up my ticket for tonight’s Future Technologies event at the Southbank Centre with Tim Berners-Lee and Stephen Fry.  At the point I realise my error I am turning at the Layer Road roundabout so promptly I have to turn around and return to Bohemian Grove to collect it.

As I pull up I spot The Ghost with his dog, now from new angle (behind).  He must wonder just what it is I am playing up.  With ticket in hand I promptly get back into my Focus and wave to him as I speed towards the station.

Unsurprisingly all this fucking about only serves to make me late as I stress my way to the station.  Pulling into the station car park I spot Epiphany Girl, she is late too it would appear.

By the time I get to the platform the train is already pulling in.  In the end I wind up on the same carriage as pregnant Disney Face who clocks/recognises me and doesn’t exactly look thrilled to see me.  Sitting in the end carriage actually comes with its advantages as everyone leaves me alone and nobody bothers me by sitting in the seat next to me on this stuffy day.

My journey today is accompanied by listening to the latest Collings And Herrin podcast and with this soon we are pulling into London.

From here other than having a French girl almost sit on my lap the tube ride across town is relatively nondescript, it is Monday after all.

I emerge at St Johns Wood with the day blazing.  As I walk up Loudoun Road I spot Harry Enfield riding a moped and dropping his kid off at school.  As his scooter riding begins to look a bit precarious I gear up ready to say “now I don’t think you wanted to do that!” in case he has an accident.  It would be a hilarious moment.

As I step into the restaurant and up to our office I exchange my views of the football with the angry boss (“fucking load of old shit”) to which he responds with some kind of veiled sympathy as he offers up a cup of coffee, that gesture usually saved for when he is either happy with us or dissatisfied with the usual recipient.  Either way I down the char in one foul swoop.  I had a thirst.

The Girl doesn’t bother to come in today which annoys and frustrates me extremely.  She really does take the piss, pushing the golden goose too far.  At her age I would have loved a job that paid me £24K to do fuck all, to afford me the time and opportunity to investigate other avenues.  We turn a blind eye to the girl’s discretions too much and she knows it.  Eventually she will fail, if she cannot acknowledge the good times I doubt she will be able to prepare for (or insure against) the bad times.  If you don’t harbour gratitude it could be your eventual undoing.

I proceed to have a fairly shitty, tetchy and grumpy day.  In contract I have a productive and relatively successful day.  Go figure.

In the afternoon I find myself attempting piece for The Gaffer website, a piece about Pickles The Dog being more popular than Fabio Capello for the role of England manager.  It’s an OK piece, not grammatically perfect but I would like to think amusing.

The day flies by and soon I find myself heading off down to the Southbank Centre for the Future Technologies talk, which is part of The Festival Of Science And Arts currently being held there.

When I emerge at Waterloo I am hungry and thirsty so I head into an Asian convenience store sat opposite the South Bank exit of Waterloo station.  Inside I discover that they sell cans of Pussy energy drink, a sweet sweet coconut flavoured caffeine drink that I have only previously seen in the Vibe Bar and the Koko.  In addition to this I then find some Reeses peanut cups as I border on ecstasy.  Unfortunately this job proves short-lived as the Reese’s turn out to be melted to shit and Pussy has a genuinely weird affect on me.  Perhaps there is more than coconut and caffeine inside this stuff.

The Future Technologies event I am attending this evening has a panel including Stephen Fry and Tim Berners-Lee (the guy that invented the World Wide Web!)  In other words, this is a major geek fest (and not necessarily in a good way).  Also as part of the panel is Professor Dame Wendy Hall and Bill Thompson, names that mean nothing to me either.

As ever I arrive at the place well ahead of time and as I scour the bookstalls on the South Bank I check my email to receive a rejection regarding the football piece I wrote this afternoon.  I can understand, it wasn’t great but at the same it wasn’t awful.  It’s just that right now I could really use a boost of confidence that would come from some positive recognition/reinforcement for something I have done.

From here I enter the Queen Elizabeth Hall where there is a talk taking place in the foyer.  This truly is an evening for eggheads and the speakers (academics) discuss attempting to drum up interest in science for kids.

Eventually the doors to the Queen Elizabeth Hall open and I take my seat.  Inside the hall there is a large silver foil dolphin floating around in the air of the auditorium.  How do they do that?

Heading towards kick off time a couple take the seats to my right and as they do so the girl very visibly makes a gesture that she does not want to sit next to me.  Yikes, geeks and snobs.  I then proceed to double up on my losses as the guy who eventually sits next to me appears unable to sit still.  Fucking child.  Later I discover that he is some dude called Nico Holland who has written a book or something, who the chair of the talk knows (and invariably acknowledges).  Hey we’ve all written a book.

Finally the event begins and early into the talk a Tweetwall gets unearthed behind the panel of experts which proves incredibly distracting as half the audience, including Mr Nico Holland sat to my right, spend most of the event on their iPhones (and other assorted smartphones) trying to get a signal, let alone a message up on the board.  Why is it that we as a species appear happier existing in a cyber context/existence than a real one these days?  I’m pretty sure it is all about destiny control.

The event/talk is a pretty illuminating one discussing the greatest technological discoveries of the past 100 years with observations and predictions as to where things could be going next.

At one point Fry begins discussing the new/fresh iPhone 4 and saying how the first thing he thought when it offered video calls was how it would benefit the sex industry which appears to causes something of a titillating stir as the quote gets repeatedly quoted behind them on the Tweetwall.  For me this truly demonstrates the geekiness of the evening as the distraction of the people quoting him on the screen is akin (in their minds) to them delivering some kind of scoop.

In the end Stephen Fry wipes the floor with the other technology commentators having been gifted the talent of being both intellect and entertainer which makes him great fun to listen to one what might be otherwise stuffy subjects.

Eventually the Q&A session opens things up to the audience at which point the fidgety cunt sat next to me begins acting very eager to get his question in.  Almost immediately the chair on stage recognises and acknowledges the guy as being his mate and nods to him as being the next question.

At this point some photographer begins taking pictures in my/our direction which naturally makes me feel uncomfortable causing me to react in a childish manner with hand gestures and funny faces (anything to ruin the moment).  Isn’t it illegal to take somebody’s photograph without his or her permission?  As she continues, at first without flash but then with, I begin to subtly make more blatant finger gestures in the hope that she gets the message and fucks off.  Alas she does not.

When the fidget arse eventually gets his question to the inventor of the World Wide Web and the wittiest man in the country it is a long and overdrawn babble of an ego showcase.  Coupled with this however they (and those apparently watching on the internet) get to see me looking quizzical and pulling a face while checking the score between Brazil and Chile as Mr Nico Holland fails to get to the fucking point of his ego trip inquisition.

In the end the Q&A, as with these things, doesn’t really go anywhere as people remain looking down with their noses in their smartphones.

The evening ends with the panel predicting what maybe the next great invention and then we get let out.  It’s a slow exit as geeks stumble over one another on the stairs eager to discuss what they have just seen and heard.  Myself, I just want to get home.

Soon after the heals of people who I know won't challenge me I am out of the building and into a beautiful evening.  From here I get a decent train home (the 10.30PM Norwich train), which ultimately means I get home in time to see Being N-Dubz on Channel Four.

Tonight as I watch the horrific spectacle I hear a lot of Chav shouting.  Eventually I realise that it is not coming from the TV show but is actually the alcoholics that live beneath me having some kind of domestic.  It’s just too hot and late to be having to deal with this shit.

As doors slam below me I look outside to see the angry man stomping about our building at which point he looks up and spots me watching.  Upon receiving the glare I quake internally managing to give him a nod of acknowledgement when really I should be shouting at him to “shut the fuck up”.  Fail.

Soon things calm down and I fall asleep.

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