Thursday, July 20, 2006


So yesterday was the hottest July day in Britain since... ever. Streets melted. People were being broiled alive in West End theatres. And in an electrical appliance store in London somebody bought an electric blanket. There’s always one.

The apparent temperature taken down in the London Underground, on a Piccadilly Line train at Leicester Square, was 38.8˚C. And that was just shy of an hour before midnight. Which is still 10˚ above EU guidelines for the maximum allowable temperature for transporting cattle.

Having to use London Transport was intolerable, but at least it was in motion. Mid afternoon I arrived at Kings Cross to find no trains running. Some completely inconsiderate bastard had gone under the train at Hitchin – one station before where I was heading to – and everything had ground to a halt.

“Can’t you just scrape the sonofabitch off the track with a spatula and get the trains running?” I asked a fat controller who looked like he could have done without me being there. It was an option that appeared popular with the least-appalled of the sweat-soaked commuters around me. And what the hell were they doing there, heading back home at that time of the day?

But, no. Apparently plod had to be called to the scene and investigate the big steaming pile of innards and generally fanny about. That was not good. Especially since I was lugging around a bag with external hard drives and references book. Still, it did give me something to swing into the legs of the munters who wandered about the packed station concourses looking dazed and confused as they got in the way. Frankly, I've seen cattle come out of the lorry and trot into a slaughterhouse faster.

My folks had the right idea. They phoned to say they were off on a cruise around the Norwegian fjords. When they came back depended on whether they liked the ship or not. If it got the thumbs up they would stay onboard for a trip around the Baltic, stopping off at St Petersburg and a performance of the Kirov at the Mariinsky Theatre.


At 6:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very pretty design! Keep up the good work. Thanks.


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