Archive for August 2012

Things that made me smile today   1 comment

Morning: A skinny and very tanned woman jogger in the park with a beautiful big shaggy dog. She looks very focussed, a power woman. They pass me by. The dog strains away from her and towards me. He looks me straight in the eye. I have never believed in ESP or anything like that, but this dog’s big eyes were screaming, “Help me!, Make this awful woman stop!” Doggie, this is for you! Owner, consider the doggie stroller.

Evening: A little old lady at the bus stop. Dressed as an Olympics Ambassador. The Olympics finished yesterday. She is like a lost soul standing alone, passers-by giving her curious glances. Maybe she enjoyed the Olympics so much, she got up this morning and thought she’d wear the uniform again, just for fun.

August   Leave a comment

Harvest is happening. The hills of the South Downs are chequerboards of yellow and orange stubble. The Van Gough wheat fields are gone. The smell of harvest is in the air. Men smell of sweat mixed with outdoors and cut wheat after a hard day in the fields.
On the coast it is holiday time for the rich and poor. Darren and Sharon, their barbecue, tent, fishing rods, metal detector and seven children sit on the pebble beach near Felicity and Reginald with their chairs, table, bottle of wine, fresh salad and crusty bread.
It is a quiet beach far away from the big towns. The sea is peaceful. The most striking thing is the background silence. It is only when you leave the city, that you realise that you’ve become inured to its constant buzz.

Boris’s voice part 2   Leave a comment

I am not 100% sure but I’ve been on public transport for a week and not heard the awful voice of BoJo talking to the peasants. My colleagues report a similar absence. Has he stopped? Has some sensible person at London Transport, noting the seizure rate of passengers had increased in correlation to the broadcasts,   taken him out of the picture?

I am almost afraid to mention it in case I jinx myself. If it is really true and the tape is lying smashed on the floor of an office or the cab of a tube, my heartfelt gratitude to you. Live long and prosper!

 

Posted August 10, 2012 by mshambainlondon in Current affairs

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Olympics – the good side   1 comment

I know I’ve been a bit negative, so this week I’ve really tried to look for the good.

And I’m pleased to say I found it.

London is full of lovely tourists. Walking down Shaftesbury Avenue at night towards Piccadilly is a pleasure. Watching goofy people wandering around eyes up, jaws down, taking photos, gawping, eating bad food from expensive touristy restaurants, sitting on the steps of Eros, taking photos, getting the way of locals. But it is lovely. The absolute pleasure they are taking in my adopted city makes me look at it anew through their eyes. When you live here for a while, the novelty fades and you become blasé about it all. But when you see large numbers of tourists goofing at the massive lanterns in Chinatown, or at the lions in Trafalgar Square, or surrounding a street artist, it makes you stop and stare and say, “Wow! That really is beautiful! I do live in a beautiful city. Aren’t I lucky?”

And the Olympic Ambassadors are lovely, wandering around on the tubes and streets, on their way to be nice and smiley and helpful to everyone. Every time I see one I go “Awww!” Their uniforms are a mixture of purple and pink and are truly vile in both colour and design. I have yet to see an Ambassador that is flattered by their uniform. What I really love about them though, is that they come in all shapes, sizes and ages. No discrimination, people who are 18 and people who look 68. People who bounce when they walk and people on crutches.  What a lovely idea to recruit thousands of volunteers to help people.

And most wonderful of all, there was so much hysteria about people not being able to travel to work because of the Olympics, anyone who can, has left town, meaning that it has actually turned out quiet and easy to travel. In the mornings the tubes are not full. There is little congestion. I’m not late for work. I would almost say that London is strangely and unexpectedly quiet.

(Drawaing by David Gentleman)

So, three really positive things about the Olympics. I hear that some local guys, one with massive sideburns, won some medals or something also. The locals seem to be happy with this!