I do hope I don't sound like I'm always complaining about this place – I'm really enjoying being in the UK, and wouldn't have traded the decision to come over for anything (maybe for a dinosaur, but that's just a pipe dream)… But I tell you what, life seems to be needlessly comlicated over here, and in the case of the last 24 hours, it causes me to almost start banging my head on the walls and putting on one of those incredibly long-sleeved jackets.
And in case anyone asks, no this post isn't going to be solely for giving James's Waxing Cynical a run for its money.
As I sit here and write this, there appears to be some kind of celebration going on. I don't know exactly what it is in aid of, but it seems to have interested the firework-buying section of the community quite a lot. To put it bluntly, there's that many explosions going on outside, you'd think it was downtown Baghdad, not Kensal Rise. I think I can smell burning leaves too. Excellent.
Right so anyway, last night I went out for dinner with Charlie, Oli, The Puzzler, the Dodgy Aussie, Justin, and some other people whose names escape me to this South African restaurant. That was great, and I was excited to try Kudu Steak, which comes from some kind of antelope. Bloody good stuff really.
Afterwards it came time to come home. I hopped on the tube to catch the Victoria Line from Finsbury Park down to Oxford Circus, where I can pick up the number 6 bus straight home. So good so far. The next station after I got on this fairly inebriated young girl got on, sat opposite, and fell asleep. That was all fine until between Euston and Warren Street she woke with a start, turned around, and projectile vomited 8 feet all over my trouser leg. Fantastic.
I got off at Oxford Circus, found a newspaper to towel down with, and wandered over to my bus stop. I could tell it was going to be a long night, because there were roadworks right at that intersection.
I stood there in the freezing night air as bus after bus went past – alebit slowly – until a bendy-bus tried to take the corner, misjudged it, and almost took out the traffic light in the intersection. He reversed and had another go, but his efforts were equally as dismal. Now I don't know if anyone who reads my page has seen a bendy bus try to reverse, but let me tell you, it's one of the more futile and terrifying things I've ever witnessed, and judging by the way this guy was handling it he'd only just completed his London Bus Driver's Correpsondence Driving Course. During the 10 minutes he took to execute this great maneuvre traffic had banked up at the already slow intersection, and now the honking was beginning. Just when I figured it couldn't get any noisier, a police car and an ambulance turned into the end of the road and made it quite clear that they wanted to get down it, quickly. I don't imagine it did anything for thenerves of the already panicked bus driver, but it certainly didn't improve my freezing, puke stained, extremely tired and beginning to get a headachey state of mind.
What seemed like hours later, my bus arrived and took me most of the way home, but the driver decided to stop earlier than usual and kick everyone off, so the only option to avoid a hypothermic death was to walk home.
I woke up this morning with the worst flu symptoms I think I've ever had, and consequently spent the day in bed wearing a polar fleece, woollen socks and a beanie and huddled under my doona (or duvet, for the English) shivering due to some some stupid physiological anomaly.
I always love missing a day of work, because as a contractor, that's just money you don't get !
There was a brief visit to the front door as the postman knocked – he had a package of mine from eBay. He aked in a fairly nonplussed tone if I was Jason Standing, and I said that indeed I was. He replied with “You're the one who keeps getting all these bloody parcels.”. Fantastic – our postman hates me.
Seeing as I was up (not feeling that well though) I thought I'd at least get something positive out of the day, and attempted to hook up our new ADSL modem and everything (yesterday I got the email to say that our broadband's ready to go ! Oh joy, oh rapture unforseen). After about an hour and a half of trying to connect to the damn thing, I had to reach the conclusion that the thing's DOA. There seemed little response other than to go back to bed.
At about 5pm I re-surfaced, tried the modem again but clncluded that it's totally stuffed, and then decided to dial up and get my email. Among other things, there was one there from a guy I'd bought something from on eBay, who I'd given a specific delivery address to, to say that he'd missed the address and just sent it to my default address, and he was sorry about it. Thinking there was really nothing that could be done about it, I then went to the website I bought the ADSL modem from to find out what their returns policy is. After stepping through the online form to get an RMA number and soforth, I got a confirmation email telling me that the returns process takes at least 10 working days. Fantastic – so no broadband for another 2 weeks. Assuming they send a replacement that works.
So anyway, that's been my day. I was thinking of heading up the road to grab a curry, although with the amount of explosions going on out there I suspect I'd probably be the 1 in 10,000,000 who manages to get hit by a whizzy explody thing and spend the weekend in hospital.
On the UPSIDE, my Tripod “Middleborough Road” finally arrived today – incidentally if anyone in the UK wants to order from www.sanity.com.au, be aware that their estimated delivery time to the UK is 4 weeks, as they have to specially breed and train a seagoing camel to make the delivery.
All in all, next week's shaping up to be a ripper !