Here I am writing this on the coach. Doesn’t that rock? Free, as well. It rocks more than the travel. Or that London. See, it turns out, NewWorktm is great, the people are all great, but the commute sucks. Honestly, it really isn’t me. Up early, home late, never seeing the squawks. Nor Cassandra. (No, that wasn’t (much) of an afterthought.) If I were honest, I would wonder how long I will cope with it.

I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet,
Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

I could mock the announcements on the Tube, but it is only funny once.

A light for the Royal Institute of the Blind
Not gonna help much, they are blind, mate.

A light for Madame Tussauds.
Now that might work better…

You can work out from that that I am being a wuss and taking the Circle.

In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear,
In every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear:

Feral Children! cries the Mail. Or they did. They still might. I don’t know. And you know what? It is true. Dirty wee buggers sauntering about throwing sticks at people, swearing at you when you tell them off, running off when you don’t back down to their swearing. But they weren’t speaking English. Then the grimness of going through that London, the dilapidated buildings, unkempt and uncared for streets. Some bright people, not beaten down by the oppressive weight of living in that scabby city. But mostly like the poem says.

How the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every blackening church appals,
And the hapless soldier’s sigh
Runs in blood down palace-walls.

Didn’t I always tell people I would never work in that London? Really, what does it profit that man to gain an articulated lorry-load of cash if he loses the plot? Ungrateful sod, me, aren’t I? Though being in that London I may go get photographs of Blake (and Ms Rossetti’s) graves. So I need to go to Highgate Cemetary and Bunhill Fields. Perhaps a lunchtime wander is in order. With Amahlia. If I remember to lift her tomorrow.

But most, through midnight streets I hear
How the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage-hearse.

William Blake (with interjections by me) (1757 - 1827)

  1. I found (when switching from bike to train travel) that I felt a great sense of freedom - at first, at least. I realised I could think and relax and read and write and stuff.

    After a while, the novelty wore of and I got more and more aware that no-one was talking. No conversations; hardly any conversations. Damn stand-offish southerners!

    I did, after a while, get to know the regular passengers and got to chatting most days. Which was nice.

    Enjoy it while you can.

    Wed 31 Jan, 9:22AM

  2. I wouldn’t have moved to work here last January unless I got somewhere to live that was at the most 30 mins walking from where I work. If you’re willing to move into the town, London can be very enjoyable and I’ve found it a great place to live.

    Some people I know travel 2hrs either way to get in here, luckily I’ve got it down to an 8min cycle or 20 min walk. Rent is extortionate though, but if your’e in here 9-5, then its worth it - even if its just to cut the commute.

    I learnt my commuting lesson early, when I was 1st year in Queens, I travelled daily on the Ballymena to Belfast train - via Lisburn of course; almost 2hrs either way, and there were no such things as iPods or wireless anything back then - even our TV remote controls had 2m cables.

    Wed 31 Jan, 10:30AM

  3. me likes the template by Mr Stewart :-)

    Sun 04 Feb, 1:46PM

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