No really, honest
I am struck dumb by this, but have no idea why, the words just won’t come.
Home to (current) Work, walking time about 25 minutes
“Huh” I hear you say “What makes a stroll through suburban South East London rank higher than the New York or HK commute?”
And you are quite correct it shouldn’t. I am sure in the fullness of time it will drop off the list all together, but at the present moment in time it’s number 3.
There’s nothing special about it, no stunning vista’s, no special sights, although the walk through the graveyard can be pleasant.
The reason it is there at all is this. For the first time in twenty mumble, mumble years, I do not have to pay anyone to take me to work, be it Notwork South East or TFL, I don’t have to look at my wage slip and automatically deduct the next months fares, just to see how much I actually get to keep.
So even after a year the novelty has not yet worn off and that’s why it’s number 3 for now.
Another blagged working holiday I’m afraid.
Kowloon peninsula to Hong Kong Island using the Star Ferry
I’ve always been fascinated by Hong Kong since reading James Clavell’s Tai-Pan at a young age. So when the chance came to work there for a week I jumped at it. With the deal the company had with the hotels there, I was able to finesse a weeks free holiday afterwards as well.
I was given a choice of hotels I could stay in, all very nice, all 5 star ,including the newly opened Mandarin Oriental on Hong Kong Island only minutes walk from the office.
But if you’re going to stay in Hong Kong and it’s not your money, there’s only one hotel you can stay in The Peninsula (The same as, if you go to Singapore you have to stay in The Raffles). If you can book it, stay in the original building with a harbour view, not the horrid 1994 extension. The memories of bygone ages leak from the walls.
The company would not spring for it, but for a sum, you can be collected from the airport in one of the hotel’s green Rolls Royce’s (£50 and a Silver Spur when I did it, they are Phantoms now)
Anyway to the commute.
Come out of the hotel, turn right, walk down the harbour front dodging the traffic, Black Cabs and the Red Double Decker buses to the Star Ferry Terminal, join the queue, pay your ridiculously small fee, shuffle onto the ferry and make your way to a window, there’s no glass (Port side for the best view).
A stunning vista then gradually approaches, it’s a hell of a journey and one I think I could quite easily have seen myself making every day without getting jaded (barring typhoons etc.)
Click images for larger
(They open in new tab)
Of course, you could be really lucky, like I was and go on or around Chinese New Year, then the trip back home isn’t that bad either.
Number 3 coming soon.
Overheard at work today
Colleague 1: “What are all the Police and Ambulance doing outside the office?”
Colleague 2: “Somebody got stabbed in the barbers”
Colleague 1: (Laughing) How very painful for them.
Colleague 2: “What do you mean, why’s that funny?”
Colleague 1: “Oh you mean the ‘Barber Shop’ next door. Sorry I thought it was rhyming slang.
For the rest of the afternoon she refused to be drawn on what she thought ‘barber’s’ was actually rhyming slang for, most plausible guess by Clive was; Barbers Pole = (arse) Hole
Commuting is the bane of our existence, I can pretty much say with 100% certainty that unless you dear reader work from home or are; a Russian Oligarch, a multi millionaire, an asylum seeker or an MP, you will be commuting to work, this may be by choice, but probably more likely cost.
So commuting is one of those things we have to do, It’s dull, it’s monotonous and it sucks ever increasing amounts out of our pay packets without our having any say over it.
Yet I have been fortunate to have had a few amazing commutes, that actually lift your heart on the way into work.
Some may niggle that a couple were only for a week or so, but these were not ‘office visits’ I was actually going in to work and keeping office hours, therefore by my definition it was commuting.
Favourite Commute #5
Hoboken, New Jersey –> Manhattan Island, New York
Way back in the mists of time (1992) I blagged a cheap trip to New York & Boston, the firm would pay for the flight and a small per diem if I went in to the New York office to work for a week out of the three I was away.
So off I flew, I arranged to stay in the apartment of one of my colleagues. He was staying with his fiancée, later wife. (Tragically she was killed in the Twin Towers on 9/11)
Anyway the apartment was in Hoboken and the office was in Wall Street across the river. In those days there were two ways you could go. You could get the PATH train (subway) to the World Trade Centre or the Ferry to Battery Park
I was recommended to take the ferry at least in the mornings.
They were not wrong, it was gobsmackingly stunning, the vista that I’d only seen before on movie screens laid out in front of me. Each time I would have been easy prey for anyone looking out for tourists with my jaw hanging open. I looked forward to the next day each time with delightful anticipation.
This picture doesn’t do the view justice, but I can’t find the other ones.
stole this one, but more like it
But the feeling was a bit like this (without the big hair).
What’s your favourite commute?
I’m afraid the lassitude has taken over again. Not in this case caused by the drink, I hasten to add.
But I realise there has been a distinct lack of posting, whether it is post-holiday blues or the fact of leaving work in the dark, who knows? May even be something else, I just seem to be going through the motions at the moment.
Never mind I’m sure I’ll buck up shortly, in the meantime it might be that there are more than a few ‘holding’ posts..
“Asked me how I pleaded, not guilty I said
Not guilty I said, you've got the wrong man
Nothing touched the trigger but the devil's right hand”
A translation error at a UK prison labelled an exercise yard as an "execution yard" in the draft of an information booklet for Russian inmates.
Might help concentrate poor Vladimir's mind on the error of his ways.
"You could treat it as a bit of a joke unless you were that prisoner and you didn't understand how the British prison service worked and came from a country that still had execution yards.”
I’m pretty sure we all know how the British prison service ‘doesn’t’ work by now.
“It wouldn't be a funny thing for him."
It made me laugh though.
But you have to wonder how much is spent on these booklets into various languages, so Vlad and Mbenge et. al. know how to get their play stations, halal breakfasts (and in Scotland LCD TV’s).
I doubt you or I would get the same treatment in Lagos or Moscow.
Just deport the fuckers.
Not that I make a habit of it, you understand. I’m not some deranged stalker who follows her around hurling insults from across the street each day. (Although it might give my life a bit of purpose)
No, rather it’s one particular song, you know the one. You’re driving along peacefully and it comes on the radio. Then no matter, how many times its been dismissed and ridiculed.
You find yourself shouting.
“NO, IT BLOODY ISN’T !!!”
Over and over again, thern head butting the steering wheel until your nose bleeds.
I’m sure everyone does the same.
I am not mad
PS: The Oatmeal has a useful Guide
"an inspiration for all of us who believe in freedom of speech, democracy and human rights".
David Cameron on the release of Aung San Suu Kyi
Considering he and the rest of the political class have time and again proven they believe in no such things and in fact are actively suppressing them with a rapidity that would make Tony Blair blush.
It’s a wonder the words do not choke him.
*Weasel is used as a figure of speech and not meant to liken the lovely weasel to a career politician which would be a grievous slur.
Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
Well actually I do, next Wednesday at about 19:00.
By the time you read this, we will already be on the way to Stansted having had to get up at stupid o’clock.
The plan to schedule some posts fell by the wayside, sorry.
So see you all in a week. I expect some excellent reading when I return.
Pavlov’s Cat on Dunk Island, QLD, Oz
I doubt that the Sharpe series would get filmed these days, far too politically incorrect for our new friends.
David Cameron has said new treaties on defence and nuclear joint working with France marked a "new chapter" in a long history of defence co-operation. [Orly when?]
A long history yes, not so much co-operation. Check out the History guy for a list of Anglo-French Wars in chronological order.
Fuck you Cameron, you fucking traitor.
they don’t like it.
Jan Bredenhand, who had been working as the restaurant manager for the Addo Croc and Lion Ranch near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, for just one month, returned from an all-night party Sunday morning and hopped on a gate around the lions enclosure when he was attacked.
A witness told police that the 30-year-old and one of his friends provoked the lions with loud taunts, South Africa's Daily Dispatch reported.
I’m not exactly sure what you’d taunt a lion with, as they are pretty awesome (not as awesome as tigers mind).
Perhaps their lack of opposable thumbs, bad breath? (an all meat diet and a tendency not to floss often can lead to that). Their taste in music? (Lions are big fans of JLS: FACT)
Anymore suggestions gratefully received.
“And that’s a big deal?” I hear you ask.
Well yes actually, it is a big deal.
You see, said sock has been on the missing list for some months now. Its partner turned up alone in the wash a while back and has been sitting forlornly in the sock drawer waiting the return of its mate.
In the grand scheme of things not a major calamity you’d think. But here’s the rub, they are ‘Days Of The Week’ socks and what was missing was one half of Wednesday.
Which means I’ve had to skip Wednesday and go straight to Thursday, or wear a stand-in pair from my other set (stripy toes). Both choices to someone with mild OCD like myself fill one with a sense of ‘not quite rightness’ that can persist the whole day.
But I knew it would be back, I do my own washing, it’s never mixed with anyone else's, the little bugger had to be in the bedroom somewhere. But could I find it? I could not.
But there it was down the back of the wardrobe, it has now been washed and is drying on the radiator alongside its soul mate [ geddit, soul mate or sole mate, oh please yourselves]
So all is right with the world once more.
What’s that? What was I doing looking down the back of the wardrobe.
Ah well you see, I appear to have misplaced the quick release plate for my camera tripod. But I know it’s here somewhere.