Monday, October 02, 2006


This morning I had a bugger of a commute. Nearly an hour, which is double the usual. By way of concession, I fully realise that an hour is an easy commute for many, but time is relative, remember.

So the first train never showed up, and the St John's Wood platform only gets that crowded when there's a cricket match on. When it did come, I couldn't get on the first three. I do hate it when people behind you slip round and find a spot that you didn't think existed. The last lady's bag got stuck in the door anyway.

Once I did gain a place, I found myself hanging onto the same pole as a.....oh, a Polish couple (sorry). They kissed all the way from SJW to Baker Street (one of the Underground's longer stretches). Pooch, pooch, arm around waist, whisper, pooch, pooch. Her hand forgets to hold onto the pole and slips onto the top of mine. (That was an extra niggly bit for me.)

I SWEAR I wanted to throttle them and step on their toes really hard!!! I have nothing against a certain amount of PDA, and theirs was of a nice sort, really. But not that much, in a crammed train. And the LAST thing I want to see when I am disgustingly single AND suffering from Pre Menstrual doo dah is KISSING! Thank God he got out at Baker Street, otherwise something would have gone wrong before Bond Street.

When I got to Bond Street, same waiting game, same not getting onto train. And then we all squished in again, and man! Do some people's jackets smell manky or what??? Some of them mix it with aftershave/perfume, and others don't. Either way, ugh!


Anyway, I spent the morning trying to forget it all by updating the database, but then my mood would flare up every now and then.

It didn't help that I was complaining inwardly at the total heads-down attitude of the office. Even though my two colleagues and I had little to do, we had only one conversation about neglected pets, other than the odd comment about rain or boredom. At one point, the receptionist came over for colleague N, whispered her name, handed her the package, and N whispered half a thanks.

The most exciting things that happened were:

1) somebody's stacking tray fell off the edge of the desk on the other side of the office, and

2) a colleague went over to the lunch department to complain about them sending us menus from the same deli two days in a row.

3) Fed up with my brie and bacon toastie, I decided to be adventurous and order the curry and rice for tomorrow.

I got off earlyish because it really had been a slow day, and I found a very nice black wool coat with a velvet collar, belt and buttons, totally by accident. It didn't cheer me all the way up, and I still had to have a bit of a rant to my darling Mumsy on the phone. Then I got an email from my favourite male soprano, who always radiates a bit of sunshine, so that helped a bit. I will have to tell you about him sometime, won't I? My blog generates serendipity, you see.

Time for beddy-byes now.


Roxandra said...

Ahh the great unwashed masses, gotta love 'em ;o)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Sounds like a bona-fide stinker of a day.

A train didn't show up??? WHAT??!?

Living as I do in the land where engineers sometimes kill themselves if their train is five minutes late, that is hard for me to imagine!

Rox said...

Moody Minstrel, Olivia and I live in a city where a wet leaf on the tracks can more or less shut down the whole underground system. Sigh.

Olivia at Work said...

Minstrel - Rox is right, the leaf on the tracks is a classic, and now that autumn is here...

Other hold ups are signal failure anywhere on the line, the driver showing up late (happened to me this weekend), "passenger action" at another station, a body on the tracks somewhere, a defective train, a train that simply has not yet left the platform at the next station, and so on...

One time, there was a body on the track at Green Park station. (Rox, I missed the lecture that morning!). We were just about to enter the station, so we had to be conducted through the front of the train, stepped over the body covered with a blanket, and onto the safety step to the platform.

Roxandra said...

Oh my gosh how horrible! I didnt know that! I dont think I would have turned up at college at all that day. Shudder!
But I always think that ppl committing suicide by throwing themselves onto the tracks are real selfish bast****! How would a train driver or anyone seeing the result EVER recover! No wonder they get a salary of 30k+!

Jia Li said...

u need tuddles today

I am wrking on a Typographic assgnment, my name-charater relationship, but I am trying to spit the word at the mo but can't seem to get it so I will bring puter to school tomorrow and ask for some help, am doing commitaphobic( red bold letter. Cracked Typeopgraphy, black outlined and split from the middle like its being puled appart.

the other two words are travelled and open-minded

Anonymous said...

Hey, Olivia. I apologize for not commenting about your latest blog. I am sending this message to inform you that I am seriously thinking about traveling to Europe next summer. If I go to London, the only reason would be to see you. With this in mind, I was wondering if you were planning to go to a neighboring country next summer haha. I could just meet you there. If not, I could meet you in London. When are you going to Canada?

tooners said...

you bring back some not so pleasant memories of commuting for me... i remember the days not so fondly in my mind. ;)

has it gotten cold there? it hasn't here and i so long for the type of weather to wear wool coats! the one you found sounds lovely.

btw, how is your cousin?

tooners said...

and... you had to step over a dead body to get on a train once? ehhhh gads... i can't imagine!!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Neither can I! Well, actually, I can imagine it, but I'd rather not...

Erased, another life is, on the track,
Gone away, and still we don't know why.
Eliminated, never to come back.
Unseen, a blanket hides it from our eye.
We just go on, no care for fate,
Regret the fact that we are late.

Buttons said...

oh. lovely. i used to do that journey from my ex's house, it's a nightmare

if you're bored at work, talk to us all day

Olivia at Work said...

Rox - Oh it wasn't that scary. A blanket over a body removes you from the horror amazingly well. Or at least, I know I am good at dissociation sometimes.

Train drivers earn more than teachers, those amazing people who mould our children's minds???


Jia Li - thank you!
Commitaphobic, what a good word. Hold on, that's you isn't it?
Good imagery too (in an attempt to distract you from my last comment).


Memoria - ooh! I can't see that far ahead, but at this point I can say I will still be in London and have no holidays planned. That is, if my dad doesn't kidnap me and get me a job in Calgary.

So yes, I am going to Canada for Christmas.


Tooners - hehe.
It has certainly cooled down a lot this week. It seemed to happen overnight. Dew on the cars, I can see my breath, need a light coat or jacket. I may start wearing my new coat in the middle of this month, maybe with the first frost.

The sunlight is more slanted too, and it's dark around 6.

You know the pics of St Paul's I took late last month with the sun right on the top of the cross? It doesn't even reach the cupola this week.

My cousin is strong and doing well, thank you. Very sweet of you to ask :)

P.S. No, to get off the train. A few weeks ago in the hot weather there was a fiasco with people stuck underground for over 2 hours. If you are between stations, it's hell trying to walk people anywhere in those dark tunnels. Possibly they can cut the power to certain lengths of track, but imagine...Thankfully we were only a few steps from the platform.


Minstrel - one day, one day, I will attempt one of these verses, she says, half-heartedly...


Buttons - ha! My job has a definite pattern. If it suddenly took me way longer to produce a script, they'd start to wonder...

I snatch these moments with you all during lunch, then I go home when all the fun has been had and leave late late comments :(

Christopher said...

Hello gorgeous...thanks for coming by my page and sharing Louise Brooks fanatacism with me...always a way to win my heart. Please forgive this rather tardy note...xo

ML said...

You have a way with words. Your post cracked me up! The smoochy PDA while her hand slipped on your hand would have driven me bonkers.