Trip Start May 27, 2010
97Trip End Aug 31, 2011
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There was another tube strike this week, meaning I had to take alternative means to get to and from work. I had my gym gear at work and considered fleetingly whether I could actually walk home, but it didn't take long for my brain to slap itself stupid and talk itself out of communicating those sort of thoughts to itself. I went to the gym instead, hoping to avoid the rush hour of bewildered tube-users finding alternative ways home, and made use of the True Blood episodes I'd specifically synced to my iPod to keep me entertained while I was sweating it out on the treadmill. But yeah, tube strikes really are ridiculous. At least we know that if we are to be bombed (there were explosive packages found on board a cargo plane last week) it wont be on the tube because there's no one down there to bomb. The firefighters were to strike this week as well, leaving us all exposed and vulnerable. Are these people serious, striking like this all the time? I say make sure they have Tim Tam's or an English equivalent in the tea rooms and that'll keep everyone happy.
Which brings me to another good point, one I hadn't really emphasised before. When the GFC hit a couple of years ago and we all lost our jobs and succumbed to the failed economy and exposure of the great greed in the world, biscuits, tea bags and stationery items were the first things to go as firms tried to scrounge every penny and tighten their belts. As everyone knows, I've moved around a fair bit in the legal world, and in some circles I would be called a "legal sl*t" for the number of times I've changed jobs. The benefit of this however (amongst other things) is that I am able to tell you which firm has what biscuits, who is always the first person to jump on the biscuit barrel, and what time the tea lady turns up to fill the tins - valuable insider knowledge which is especially useful when friends ask my opinion of a workplace. One place I used to work even had two biscuit tins - one, full to the brim with Shapes and Cheds and all the good stuff, the second full of Tina Wafers, Monte Carlos, and arguably the best biscuits in the world (apart from Grandma's ginger creams), Kingstons. On Fridays the regular sweet biscuits would be replaced with Tim Tams, Mint Slices and some other really cool biscuits that I can't remember the name of. That place was good, I would recommend it to anyone, and I regretted leaving there solely on the basis of the Tim Tams (sometimes the Tim Tams were the only thing that got me out of bed on Friday mornings!). The office I work in at the moment has no biscuits whatsoever. This poses a problem for me. However over recent years I've noticed the complimentary biscuits in offices being phased out in favour of fruit bowls and a vast selection of herbal tea. Are they trying to healthy us up? I'm not sure. But I do miss the Tim Tam Fridays.
This week an episode of Packed to the Rafters was aired at home in which one of the characters dies in a fatal car accident. I know this because heraldsun.com.au and various "friends" on Facebook thought that it would be ok to ruin it for the rest of the population who hadn't yet viewed it. I wasn't terribly upset about it, given that I'm not overly fond of "that" character anyway (I wont go so far as to name them so that I'm not a hypocrite when I ruin it for others). But I was perturbed by the fact that people thought it was ok to spread the news all over the world, and burst my cosy, happy little bubble. They thought it was ok to put "Oh no, Mel..." on Facebook, like we wouldn't all put the pieces together and... oh shit, I just ruined it for everyone else. This reminds me of an experience with good old McLeod's Daughters. When I was living with Brooke, the episode of McLeod's was screened in which Claire died in a tragic farm accident. Brooke was away at the time and had asked us to tape it for her so she could watch it when she got back. I think that episode is still on a VHS cassette somewhere, and it was never watched - she couldn't bring herself to watch it because she knew it would be way too emotional. It always makes me laugh! But I think I may find myself in a similar situation in a few episodes' time when it comes to the imminent Rafters death. Bloody TV. I need to get a life!
Oh that's right, I have one! This week I chose to have some down time though. Things have been pretty hectic and so I just needed to stop, take stock and get ready for a few more weeks of madness that are yet to come. Next week I go to Biiiirmingham to see Philo and rub shoulders with old mate Richard Hammond, who I believe is from those parts as well. Phil has been out polishing his hubcaps all week in preparation. The following weekend will be the usual shenanigans in London, followed by a weekend in Prague to see the Christmas markets. And then I have to save every conceivable penny for my trip to New York in December. So my quiet weekend doesn't sound so bad when I list all of those upcoming events does it? I spent most of Saturday at home, sleeping, eating and generally making like a panda. Gemma and Huggins came over for dinner that night and I knew it was all over when I reached for the second bottle of white and Gemma and I did our best impersonations of homeless people, passing the bottle of schnapps back and forth, taking civilised swigs. So it was safe to say I was ruined on Sunday, and spent most of the day in bed. Sleeping. I loooooove sleep. I think even if I hadn't been hungover I would've stayed in bed anyway despite the sun outside, trying to peek its way through my curtains, wooing me to come outside and play.
Heidi's commuting tips of the week:
- Don't expect to have nice hair if you are walking across Tower Bridge to work on a cold, wet, windy day.
- Put yourself out on a limb by kicking someone out of their seat for a pregnant lady who had been ignored by many other selfish commuters.
- To avoid falling into the man in front of you on the tube, hold on to the rails.
- To avoid falling into the man behind you on the tube, hold on to the rails. Yes, indeed one morning I managed to fall both forwards and backwards, drawing even more attention to myself after helping the pregnant lady into a seat and announcing that everyone in that carriage was pathetic.
- Help at least one tourist per week when they ask for directions. If you're going in the same direction, allow them to follow you. (There are exceptions to this tip!)