Thursday, April 30, 2009
I was sceptical, put it down to another round of scaremongering that would amount to nothing much. Frankly I was too busy to be worried. I had other things on my mind (getting some shoes reheeled, finding a savings account with a decent rate of interest, that sort of thing).
Then tonight I read the story in the free newspapers that experts are warning to be prepared for 94,000 people in London to die. That is large number, but more than that it is a precise number. How do they know it will be 94,000, not 93,000 or 95,000? And apparently my borough will be the worst affected. Again, how do they know? Do they already have the names and addresses of the unfortunate ones? What makes this borough more susceptible to it? Should I consider moving?
Best case scenario, the best we can hope for is 7000 deaths. 7000 deaths doesn't seem like something you would hope for.
Is it time to panic?
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Suffice to say I don't think I look like any of them.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Once more the pub next door to work was flying the flag of Englishness. The bunting was being hung when I arrived this morning, and predictably at lunchtime, the band followed, subjecting us to an afternoon of songs that haven't been popular since the 1940s. A quaint, and mostly harmless notion of Englishness, although I got the impression that they were mourning the loss of the colonies and still celebrating defeating the Germans.
But this was better than what followed.
Late afternoon, the Enger-Land crowds turned up, with the Vera Lynn songs replaced by inane chants of "Enger-Land" and "I'm England til I die". In my five minute walk from the office, I was three times accosted by men drapped in St George's Crosses, starting with the innocous "Allo Treacle", progressing to the offer of "would you like to be wrapped in this flag with me, darling".
If this is what it means to be English, next time I'm accused of being Norwegian, Irish or Polish (all of which have happened), I won't contradict it.
I then passed a woman, clearly English from her accent, who looking at all of the people in flags, said to her friend, "There must be a football match on", obviously unaware that it was an important national day. There is lies the problem. There needs to be a way of celebrating St George's day for the rest of us majority who fall outside of the nostalgic and moronic.
Yesterday was the turn of "Bums, Tums & Thighs". I expected the class to be full of ladies with huge behinds, beer bellies and thunderous thighs, but it wasn’t. The rest of the class were all of dancer-like build, probably having glided over from the Royal Opera House. But I suppose that shows that regular attendance might produce results.
The class was a harsh reminder of how inflexible and uncoordinated I am. At no point was it fun.
I began to take personally the teacher’s comments about keeping a distance between our chins and chests (I am paranoid about my weak chin). Uncharitable thoughts about “proper academic subjects” crossed my mind when she mentioned her university for physical education.
When the time was nearly up and she asked the class if we wanted to do the relaxation stretches or one more exercise, the rest of the class responded that they wanted to do TWO more exercises. If I hadn’t been about to collapse with exhaustion at this point, I might have fainted in surprise.
Today I ache everywhere, but particularly in those three mentioned areas.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I still want to move to San Francisco though.
Friday, April 10, 2009
People will go to sleep in airports with an abandon that you don't see anywhere else. They will lie down on the floor, in the middle of the day, fully clothed, with their belongings left unattended and sleep. It doesn't happen anywhere else.
Airline food is invariably awful, but I love the ritual of it. The little trays, with the plastic cutlery, the antipation of opening up the dishes. It is a feast in miniature with more courses than I'd normally have (the main, the salad, the dessert, the cheese) - although in small and often inedible. The worst I had was a risotto served with side order of rice salad and on the outward flight the woman next to me had a pasta dish accompanied by a pasta salad.
Air hostesses are nowhere near as glamorous as they were in the Sixties.