Thursday, 17 November 2011

Free thinking

Although it may not entirely seem like it, when I write a blog post I usually have a good idea of where it's going before I start to write it.   Usually I've seen something, or read something, and it's made me go "oooh" (maybe even out loud) and so I write some words.  Not tonight.

It's been an age since I last wrote in here, and so I've been thinking for a few days that I should write something but I just couldn't think of anything worth writing about.  I could think of a few small things, but no common thread to link them other than "things which I've thought in the past few days" and that's tenuous at best.

But the way I see, a rambling and rather haphazard blog entry is better than no blog entry at all and so I'm going to start writing, and let's see where this goes.  Your guess is as good as mine...

I was coming home on the tube last night after a run and dinner with a couple of friends.  It wasn't the world's most pleasant tube journey - mostly thanks to the guy opposite me who was holding his head in his hands whilst drunkenly swaying and also doing other things which drunken people do which I shalln't mention this early on in case it puts you off reading further.  It's not what you need when you're coming home late at night full of spaghetti.

But that wasn't the only weird thing on the journey.  At Westminster, there was a huge BA advert.  The thrust of the advert was that BA have trained staff on every flight should a baby be born during the flight.  Like all advertising by a large company, there will have been some research behind this to indicate that making this point was going to target somebody and get BA more business.  But who?  Are there gaggles of third trimester women who are just begging for an airline to be able to safely carry them in case the excitement of a hot towel send them into labour?  Or is a general statement that BA are a caring airline?  Is the appeal to the other passengers who want reassurance that should a woman next to them go into labour on the flight, they won't suddenly be expected to hold hot towels and catch the baby?

On another tube journey home - the night before, in fact - two of us rushed into the carriage and aimed for a bank of three seats.  Only when we got there did we see that the middle seat had a half-eaten McDonalds meal on it.  So we took the two outside seats and merrily played with our phones all the way home.  However, everybody that got on the train  bolted for the middle seat, seeing it free, then saw the litter and went and sulkily stood by the doors.  As they did so, they quite often cast glances at one or both of us, as if we were the ones who'd scattered half of a Happy Meal across the seat.  I wish I had a sign which said "no, I didn't make that mess"

The reason we were on the train home was because we'd been up to Wembley Arena to see Roxette.  Yes they are still around.  And yes they are still cool.

Because of a slight cock-up by yours truly, we had to meet outside the venue rather than meeting in our seats as we'd planned.  We had planned to meet inside because not only was it Roxette night, it was also the night of an England vs. Sweden football match at the Stadium next door.  Roxette are Swedish, btw - that will be useful in a second.

So there was I, standing outside Wembley Arena watching the crowd file past.  I invented a game.  It was called "Roxette or football". And it went like this.  For every Swedish person I saw approaching - there were lots of them - I had to guess whether they looked like they were going to Roxette or the football.  Usually those with scarves were going to the football and those with flags were going to the concert.  Usually the women were going to the concert and the groups of blokes were going to the football.  But not exclusively.  It kept me entertained for ten minutes or so in defiance of the autumn chills, at least.

Winter is really creeping up this year.  No sudden frosts to announce its arrival, but an advent of chilly nights and cold breezes are beginning to herald the majestic arrival of our hibernal captor for the next six months.  It seems like only yesterday that I was wearing sunglasses to run of a Sunday morning, and now I have to endure the pain of a cold first few miles whilst my body begins to warm up against the cold.  Brrr.

Autumn, of course, also brings the wearing of poppies.  I don't wear a poppy.  Not through any deep political stance, but simply because I never wear emblems or symbols to show support of causes.  I don't wear a red ribbon for world AIDS day, I don't wear a poppy and I don't wear a red nose for comic relief.  It doesn't mean that I don't support any of those causes, but if I decide to make a donation to the cause, I don't tend to take a badge or emblem and wear it in return.  Around November 11th, I had quite a few strangers frowning at my bare lapel.  I guess they thought I was either a pacifist (I'm not) and radical anti-war demonstrator (I'm not) or a foreigner (not that either).  The looks I had from some people, you would've thought I was wearing a swastika on my lapel! (I wasn't)

Of course, strangers have so long to stare at my lapels thanks to the vagueries of the lifts at work.  There are five lifts, of which three serve the floor I work on.  You'd think that would be sufficient, but it can sometimes take over ten minutes to make the journey up to the fifteenth floor.  If it weren't for the fact that I'm in constant pain, I'd walk up the stairs and I wear it'd be quicker.

The reason I'm in constant pain, btw, is nothing medial. It's simply that I'm doing rather a lot of exercise at the moment.  I'm getting fitter (and leaner, too!) which is good, of course.  But I never realised that being fit meant being in constant pain.  Every day I suffer the stiff muscles and aches in whatever bit of me I was punishing two days earlier.  Mondays are usually my day off from exercise, leading to Wednesday being my pain-free day.  Wednesdays are the days when I go for a fast-ish run.  Of course, the lack of aches and pain make me think "this is wonderful, I can run SO fast" and so I run fast.  And then that hits me of a Friday.  just in time for my end-of-week session with the PT at the gym.  Nice.

The other artefact of all this sport is that the increased playing of badminton has given me a markedly larger right forearm than left forearm.  With that thought ringing in your ears, and with no further comment, I shall stop waffling now.  Goodnight.