Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tired of Life?

Yesterday was most easily comparable to a forced death march down memory lane. I'm writing this from my parents' laptop (noting with horror that their wireless broadband, as installed by my dad, works better than mine) because I have returned to the Shire.

It started off well - a brisk yomp through the City centre, where I am accustomed to sneer at the rubbish shops and poor selection of ethnic take-aways. But something has happened - Worcester has become, well, cosmopolitan. Hang on, I need to say that again: it's become cosmopolitan.

No, still doesn't sound any more plausible. What has happened to the grey twilight hinterland I remember from growing up? The land of limited opportunities and stunted dreams? As I walking up the hill to my house, I even started to think, "Hmm, walking distance from the town centre - that must be convenient!" Not for people here the two daily hours I spend on the Circle line, cursing my existence, and more particularly, the man next to me who feels some kind of divine entitlement to ALL the arm-rests.

Perhaps it's Worcester that's changed. But I can't believe the opening of a falafel bar and a branch of H&M can really turn it into European City of Culture. No, it's got to be me. Am I really tired of London?


Blogger Léonie said...

No. Don't be silly. London is great. Although perhaps less impressive on the sauce front, it is brill and you know it.

10/05/2006 12:45 pm  
Blogger Paul B said...

'Returned to the Shire'? I can't help but picture you as a hobbit reading that, sorry.

And I wouldn't say it sounds like you're tired of London, just glad to be home for a bit. Which is understandable; I dare say I might even tolerate Widnes if I went back after a long time away. And, believe me, H&M is a long way from setting up there...

10/05/2006 2:08 pm  
Anonymous angry taste said...

Tired of cunting-fuck-pigs on the tube is not the same as being tired of London.

Quite why people can't be ever so slightly more considerate when they're trapped 2 miles deep, in a metal tube, hurtling through the earth at almost walking pace, with limited air and no tea-and-coffee-making facilities, is beyond me.

For instance, I'd like to know where people get the idea that they'll get onto the tube quicker if they stand in my way as I try to get off. I may need to start carrying some sort of sign as well, indicating that standing on my bag/shoes/testicles is liable to cause me some consternation, so don't please, Big Foot.

And yes, the armrest thing. I'm drawn to the notion of adhereing poisoned spines to the rests, so that they can better do their unacknowledged but frankly primary job of keeping me partioned from Lardo the Piss-stained Crack-fiend (or 'Cracker' to his friends). Oh and jail sentences for people who sneeze over you without covering their awful faces. It's a confined space people: I don't care if you'll fall over, Mr Snotty - if that is your real name, you let go of the damn rail and get a-cracking with all the stopping that green shit splattering on my damn shirt.


10/05/2006 2:16 pm  
Blogger Léonie said...

Although on second thoughts, yeah, people on the tube are cunts. I include myself.

10/05/2006 5:25 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

My pet peeve is men on the tube. If you look round any carriage, the chances are that no women will have either arm on an arm rest. Many men, especially of the chalkstripe Telegraph-reading persuasion, will be using both. Simple maths dictates that not everyone can use both armrests, so why do they think their arms are more deserving of rest than anyone else's? Hmm?

10/05/2006 5:38 pm  
Anonymous paul haine said...

I found similar happenings the last time I visited my home town of Weston-Super-Mare - suddenly there were such as toasted Italian bread products and trendy wine bars. It was like entering the Twilight Zone.

10/05/2006 5:49 pm  
Blogger Brit in Hokkaido said...

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life"

Samuel Johnson

I was on a train back from Uni once, and as it pulled into Euston Station the Scottish guy opposite me said "you are from London, right". When I looked a him kind of witheringly and said "yes", wondering what the hell his point was, he said that he had never seen anyone look so happy to see the grey, dirty, depressing city where he was now living.

Maybe we all just have an inexplicable fondness for where we grew up, once we move away.

10/06/2006 12:26 am  
Blogger MrPig'sUncleMike said...

No. I think you’re bored of spending all your time in one place. Why not purchase a pied à terre in Worcester for the weekend?

10/06/2006 10:50 am  
Blogger a.c.t said...

I think you need to sharpen your elbows - I never allow a male to hog both armrests. The trick is to pretend to be so absorbed in your reading material that you didn't notice that the armrest was occupied. You slowly place your elbows next to the pinstripe elbow and gently push. It works everytime.

10/06/2006 11:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, I've just moved to Birmingham from London. A retrograde step, I always thought, but I tell you what - going to the post office on Monday was a joy. The woman opening the door smiled and - gasp! - said hello, and inside was a cotton-topped wonderland of pensioners queuing politely and being nice to each other.

My old post office in London was a cross between Hades and an Abuja fish market.

You must have seen the odd Basra crowd scene on the news over the past few years - lots of chanting, screaming, waving banners and the odd burst of automatic rifle fire? Right, now try to tax your car in the middle of that. That's what Mare Street post office is like on a weekday morning.

I think they have close air support on standby at the weekend.

There are lots of nice things about London, but infrastructure ain't one of them.

10/06/2006 4:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, and as for the Silverlink at rush hour - frankly Auschwitz survivors would balk at the conditions.

10/06/2006 4:55 pm  
Anonymous calmer taste said...

One thing you'll note about British people - we love to complain about transport. 11 posts!

Also the weather, I suggest this forms the basis of the next topic.

10/06/2006 6:34 pm  
Blogger neilissimo said...

my town is like that. having moved from big city to big city, i find my hometown to be less appealing than when i was a teenager.

the biggest news from my hometwon in the last five years was the opening of a weatherspoons pub. marvellous. and the one nighclub in the town is so shit that the best thing about it is the chip-van outside.


10/07/2006 12:56 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

Anonymous - I still can't get used to this concept of actually talking to people in your day to day interactions, instead of keeping your eyes down in the manner of a teenager buying a copy of Juggs.

I always think of that quote from Bridget Jones, along the lines of 'When I first moved to London, I smiled at everybody. Then I found a man had masturbated into the back of my coat.'

10/08/2006 8:59 pm  
Blogger galatea said...

By the way, my previous attitude to Worcester can best be summed up by Philip Larkin's I Remember, I Remember.

'Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.'

10/08/2006 9:00 pm  

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