Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Flip-flops and pashminas

On my way home from work this evening, I came across a woman with a pale pink pashmina wrapped several times arounher neck and tucked into her shirt. I thought it strange as today's high was 21 degreed Celsius and the day itself being sunny could not be described as a cold, or even chilly one. It is however true that many women feel very cold at times, but what struck me as utter madness was the fact that said woman was happilly flip-flopping around in her pink flip-flops (an attempt to match the pashmina with some footwear?). Now, WHO in their right mind, when feeling so COLD that they wrap 4 meters of scarf around their neck and chest, would go out to work in the morning with bare stockingless legs, wearing flip flops of all things! Well, you wouldn't find me walking around in my slippers, sockless at rush hour. I rest my case.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Suicides in the City of London

In the last few weeks there have been a number of apparent suicides in the City of London. Let me explain: Those of you who live in London will be familiar with the London Underground; a busy network of tunnels under the city, through which run trains carrying thousands of busy and not so busy passengers to various destinations, primarily to work.

Passengers have become increasingly accustomed to hearing the announcement that there are delays on the Central Line due to " a passenger under the train". It is rush-hour, you are desperate to go home, change your clothes, have a pee and relax, but you are now left standing there on the platform, waiting in vain for a train that will not be turning up for quite some time, as someone has chosen to end their existence by throwing themselves under it instead of in it. The selfish bastards!

These incidents have happened specifically in stations located within the City area, the "mean square mile" as it is also known; Liverpool Street station, Bank station, St.Paul's station. Why is it that people are making themselves passengers under trains instead of in them? Could there be a clue in the fact that all these incidents have occured within the world's most important financial district, a bastion of power, money and ruthless, steel-like intention? And if there is a clue in that fact, then what does it mean? Does the City merely inspire people to top themselves? If so it clearly doesn't inspire enough.

The image that automatically comes to my mind is that of City workers, permanently dissatisfied with their working lives in a cruel, inhuman and viciously competitive enviroment, a cut-throat world where success is the "be all and end all" and failure is the "end all". Those who wish to succeed in the City must be prepared to put in extensive hours of work, (and this does not just mean two hours overtime every day). The so called "high flyers" work from dawn to the late hours of the evening, some even till midnight. There is no one you can trust; everyone is a rival.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Shopping on Oxford Street

One of the most infuriating things in the world is to walk along Oxford Street in London, on a Saturday or Sunday, preferably in the afternoon. There are so many people walking at the pace of a tortoise! Of course, you could say these people are window-shopping, taking their time, relaxing, taking things easy or whatever else you like to call it, but the fact is that they make my shopping experience a true nightmare in every respect. First of all it takes ages to even get to your destination as everyone is walking at the speed of 0,0005 miles per hour! As you try to make your way through the gormless, aimless gawping idiots ("Oh look, there's New Look! It's a sale, let's go in!" - but let's go in extremely slowly so that we cause a bottle-neck at the entrance and no-one else can go in!), the stress strats to build up, gradually but staedilly, until you feel like exploding. You make your way through herds of flabby-arsed middle-aged women and their pot-bellied, football t-shirt-wearing, belching other halves, swarms of apparently arse-less young men in trousers so baggy that they are not fit to be called trousers anymore(should be called trouser-skirts) and bunches of screaming young girls, who either subscribe to the anorexic look or the look whereby they wear one of those tops that is supposed to show off your wonderfully flat tummy, but in their case flobs of fatty flesh are sticking out, while two big jelly tits bounce gorrishly on the top (they are the happy consummers of fast foood hamburgers, chips, deep-fried chicken, pot-noodles, take-away pizzas and crisps!). All these delightfully charming people are all out on the town to go shopping; they have supplied themselves with new credit cards to use so they can add to their ever-growing, unconquerable mountains of debt, they are dragging their feet along the pavement, walking like entranced zombies on a quest for so called "retail therapy", the polite phrase for "go out and spend all the money you don't have, feel bettter for a while and thn pull your hair out because you can't pay the bills and the bailiff is knocking on the door".
So, as you try to amble through the masses, you are by this stage filled with frustration (you've been trying to get to somewhere which normally takes you 5 minutes and it has taken you half an hour!), anger and misanthropic feelings. By the time you get to the shop, push your way through the inevitable bottle-neck, you are so tired that you wonder why you ever came out of the house in the first place and wouldn't it be nice to be back in bed again! You even forget what you came here to buy, you push your way out of the shop and onto the street while feeling utter disdain for the herd and make your way to the back streets to get off Oxford Street and go back home. Once you put the key in the door, you remember what it was you wanted to buy: "Shit!!! I forgot to buy condoms!" (now you have to go out again, don't you?) :-(

Friday, August 27, 2004


This will soon become the blog of a very busy bee.