Showing posts from January, 2012

Merseyside Musings

Euston station hasn't changed much.  It wasn't that long ago that I was there quite often, spending around one early morning a week traipsing my way across London to take an early train to Manchester, only to join the tail end of the Manchester rush hour to take a local train out to Guide Bridge.  Those were the days.  I speak as though it were a long time ago, when it was only 2011.  How quickly things fade into nostalgia. Before heading out of London this morning, I popped to the local shop to pick up the obligatory copy of the Guardian.  Standing in front of the chocolate bars was a woman wearing a cigarette vending machine around her neck.  She looked quite bored.  Well I'm sure it wasn't a thrilling occupation.  The guys in the shop made no reference to her, and all of the customers walked past her as though she weren't there.  I still have no idea what she was doing there. It's funny how a train journey which takes two hours from London can seem

Is 193 prime and does it matter?

Sometimes I worry about myself.  Only sometimes. The other morning, it was just before 7am and I found myself in the changing room at a health club.  It wasn't the fact that I was at there at such a stupid hour of the day which worried me, it was what happened next. I was standing in the third bay of lockers, with the higher numbers, and I happened to be standing in front of locker 193.  And then it occurred to me that I am usually at the lockers with lower numbers, and instinctively I always use a locker which is a prime number.  This is easy when you're standing near the first 20 lockers, but in that second, rational thought deserted me, and I realised that I could only use the locker if 193 was prime. So there I was, standing with a pound coin in my hand trying to work out at 6.50am whether 193 is prime.  It didn't take me long to work out that it is prime, and I made it into my session on time for a 7am start.  I knew you'd be pleased. Now - just to be clear


I said I was going to write in regularly in this year, and this feels regular; certainly more regularly than last year. I have had a run of breaking things recently.  Of course, I don't believe in such nonsense, but I was hoping that things broke in groups of three - so that once I'd broken a third thing (the third thing to be broken was the screen on my phone) it'd stop, and I could carry on with life without having to continually pay for repairs to things - but as it happened, in taking my phone in and out of its case so many times, I managed to break the case.  So there's another one in the post to me from Amazon. This experience of breaking things has made me grateful for how immediate modern life has become.  When something breaks, it's just a couple of phone calls and usually within a day or two, your phone (or whatever) is repaired and working again. The run of breaking things extended to the strings of my badminton racquet (racket? I'm never sure..

Playing by the Cambridge Rules.

It seems it's the custom at this time of the year that the first time you speak to someone since the holidays, you start the conversation with "Happy New Year".  But how long are we supposed to do that for?  If I bump into someone at the end of January, am I still supposed to say "Happy New Year" - maybe with a bit of a sarcastic smile by then?   How about February?  March?  Am I supposed to still start the conversation with "Happy New Year" if there's a friend I don't see until August? I am not a great fan of New Year.  Admittedly the London fireworks were great this year, but I'm sure the Olympic ones will be better.  It's nice to see people, and nice to have a few cocktails (of which more later...) but it's possible to do that at any other time of year without the transport troubles and the inability to order a takeaway or pop out to the off-licence. Cocktails are always fun though.  This New Year, we decided to play by the C