Today they had the heaviest snow fall in 10 years in London. As usual despite loads of warnings the transport system fell to pieces.
To celebrate New Zealand’s national day, Waitangi Day we did the Circle Line Pub Crawl along with several thousand Kiwis living in London.
These days most Kiwis start at Paddington and head anti clockwise for eight stops until Westminster where there is a mass Haka on Parliament Square across the road from the houses of parliament. Interestingly in police state Britain it is now a criminal offence to protest in Parliament Square without a permit from the local cops. Luckily the cops are pretty good natured about the whole thing and they let us behave like twats without ruining everything.
Having completed the CLPC over ten times we consider ourselves experienced campaigners and we decided to do it old school starting from Baker Street (to avoid the crowds) and going clockwise stopping for a beer at every single one of the 27 tube stops. My memory failed me some time after Westminster but I have been reliably informed that we successfully completed the entire crawl, again. Legends.
The day started badly with me jumping on a tube heading in the wrong direction at the second stop. Other than that the only mishap was Russell who took a running jump down a dozen stairs and is now on crutches.
I don’t know art, but I know what I like. And I definitely like five story high stainless steal tube slides masquerading as art!
The good news is that in the next two months I am going to York, New York (which used to be called New Amsterdam) and Amsterdam. If only Amsterdam was once called New Kiev and Kiev was once called New Ohio all my travel would be linked by their names.
The bad news is that I am moving out of my flash South London flat as our lease is up and my flatmates want to find somewhere cheaper. So if anyone knows of a really sheltered bridge somewhere near a cardboard box factory please drop me a line.
I read yesterday that that the bombers only killed 52 people of the three million people who use London transport every day. That’s pretty good odds.
Much better odds than the thousands who have taken to riding bicycles to work. London roads put 4,500 of them in hospital every year.
The Mayor of London, Red Ken, has started up a One London campaign to show that the people of London are united against the bombers.
Apparently the guys who tried and failed to blow up the tube on Thursday think that their imaginary super being will give them 1000 virgins to pleasure themselves with after they die. This is quite funny because if they get caught and end up in an English jail they may find they get quite the opposite.
I woke this morning to the news that after failing to detonate their bombs all four bombers actually managed to run away from the scene of the crime through large crowds of stunned Londoners. Those of you who saw the recent British Lions rugby tour of New Zealand won’t be too surprised to hear that it seems that almost no one in this country can make a decent tackle.
My friend Phil Stevens suggested that we should man the tube with old All Blacks. I’m damned sure that after Buck Shelford put in a decent spear tackle that Richard Lowe wouldn’t mind putting a few fingers in the bombers eyes and the like. If we really wanted to get freaky on their arses we could call on the services of John Hopoate.
Today at three the bombers hit London again. Thankfully these bombers seem to be about as competent as The Three Stooges and early reports suggest that no one was seriously hurt.
I really can’t make up my mind between walk bus train walk bus walk or walk bus walk bus train walk bus walk or even walk bus walk bus train walk bus walk. On the face of things bus train walk bus walk looks like it might be the go but if everyone else thinks the same thing then it almost certainly won’t be. I have a suspicious feeling that I might end up taking the walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk walk option.
I tried to get into work early to get some stuff done before I headed off to the company prize giving at 1pm. Predictably Tooting Bec tube stop was closed because of some technical fault and I ended up walking to Balham taking an overland to Victoria and then bussing the rest of the way. I was enjoying my morning latte when I heard the news that there had been a derailment or an electrical surge that had damaged one of the tubes. London had won the 2012 Olympic bid the day before and transport was one of the key weaknesses of the London case. Having been delayed 45 minutes getting into work because of a technical fault I kind of felt that maybe the sticking plasters and number 8 wire that held the whole Underground together had held out just long enough to fool the Olympic committee. These thoughts quickly turned to disbelief as it became clear that what was going on was something much more abhorrent. At this stage all transport in central London was halted and most city workers were confined to their buildings as a precaution.
We were discussing how we would cross central London to the prize giving at Kensington High Street when we were evacuated as a suspect package was found at the police station across the road from our building. With the exception of the people from our building and the police the streets were eerily empty as we headed for the local park. After about 5 minutes or standing around feeling uncomfortably exposed in the open park with only our colleagues to act as a human shield in the event of an explosion we headed for the local pub.
During all this I had been trying to contact my parents. Initially I tried to send a text but the lines were so jammed with worried people texting each other that it was nearly impossible. After 30 minutes of trying I finally got one off and then rang the Olds on a payphone because they both got a C- in mobile phone use 101.
At this stage we began the long walk across central to the venue where the prize giving was to be held. They may have cancelled the prize giving but the exclusive rooftop garden, bbq and beer were all paid up and ready to go. This was probably a bit foolish as large parts of central London were still cordoned off as the police carried out a number of controlled explosions on packed lunches and gym bags. We even heard one of these go off near Kensington Palace. Thankfully none of these were actual bombs and the rest of the day passed without additional carnage.
In the end we did the only thing that sane people would do in this sort of situation – we got hellishly drunk.
The following map shows where the bombs went off in relation to my work.