It’s A Dog’s Life

I have a phobia of dogs. This stems from a childhood experience involving my five-year-old self, a half eaten apple and a faster-than-lightening bullmastiff.

I avoid the four-legged creatures at all costs and have, on more than one occasion, removed myself from social situations just to prevent my pulse running double quick time, following the mere sight of a wagging tail.

Walking feet-first into an unexpected ‘shaggy-dog story’ is not something I take kindly too, nor is it something I have any control over. This evening’s commute was one of those moments. I was privately minding my own Metro, when I clocked an unexpected traveller.

Sitting comfortably alongside his owner, oblivious to my growing inner panic, was a dog, that quite literally, looked exactly how I felt. It was uncanny!

In any normal situation, I would’ve moved myself to the next carriage. But there was something about this pooch that completely captured my feelings at that very moment in time. I may’ve been quivering with fear, but I simply couldn’t take my eyes of this…ok, I’ll say it…adorable dog.

Never fear, my phobia is still very much apparent, but this little fur-ball brought a much needed smile to my face.


Are You Sure The Dog Hasn’t Just Eaten Your Son’s Homework?

In my opinion, being late is the height of rudeness. If you’re expected to be somewhere, at a specific time, you damn well get yourself there.

A colleague once complained that he was late for a showcase concert because the train he caught was delayed. He then went on to inform me that he caught the train which was due to arrive at said venue 15 minutes before his performance was scheduled. When I questioned his lack of planning and suggested perhaps next time, he went for the earlier train, he somewhat angrily replied : “Why would I wanna do that. I’d rather spend more time lying in.”

Some people simply cannot be saved.

As a child, being late for school was a big no-no. We got up early – washed, brushed teeth, ate brekkie etc. and left the house, caught the earlier than necessary bus and arrived on time, ready for an educational journey promising futures bright and futures prosperous!

This morning I happened to overhear one poor father’s excuse as he battled his way through the rush hour traffic at Clapham Junction.

“I’d like to report the lateness and possible absence of my son, Ryan. He’s currently stuck in the flat lifts with his mother, they’re waiting for the engineer to arrive.”

Well. That’s a first! I take back everything I’ve just said. There are some excuses that just need to be told.

I Like Christmas Songs and I Cannot Lie

Everyone has a musical guilty pleasure. Be it the first CD/tape/vinyl you purchased, that novelty number one with its complete lack of melody but an unspeakably annoying hook (Teletubbies, I mean, seriously?) or a childhood crush who just so happened belong to the latest boy band – purchasing their music showed your loyalty, right?

My guilty pleasure, and one I have no qualms in shouting about is…ANY Christmas tune I can lay my ears on! I have, what some have called, an unhealthy obsession with all things festive. Loading up my iPod with 101 Christmas Songs on the first day of August, writing Christmas cards during the summer holidays, these are activities I am all too unfamiliar with.

Music can evoke such special memories for us all, personal, heartfelt memories that only we can relate to. More often than not, a cheesy tune is easily associated to such events. I recall having to endure Flat Eric on repeat at one friend’s birthday party – such special, special times.

But to go so far as to publicly announce such a statement is something else. For example, would you choose to have Baby Got Back a.k.a I like Big Butts by Sir Mix-A-Lot as your ringtone?! Yes Mr Commuter, you may blush with embarrassment! What were you thinking? There is absolutely no way out if this, no acceptable explanation or excusable, “Oops, the children must’ve changed my ringtone.” Soak up the shame buddy, and next time, go seasonal.

“Mistletoe and Wine” anyone?

And My First Born Shall Be Named Thus!

My first oversight was choosing to sit down. We all know my thoughts on how aware one must be when selecting a train seat, especially if young children are present (see previous entry

But on Friday I fell victim to my own warnings. Exhausted from the day, I clocked an empty seat and managed to make it my own without any hustle and bustle. As I started to flick through the Evening Standard, I felt an uncomfortable sensation. The hairs on my neck were more than alert. I glanced up and inadvertently caught the eye of the little girl sitting opposite. She smiled, nudged the arm of the girl sitting next to her (sisters, I presumed), who simply stared. Feeling slightly uncomfortable, I reciprocated – the smile, not the stare! BIG mistake!

“I like your shoes,” first girl.

“Thank you,” slightly taken aback me.

Before I’d managed to locate my phone and play the whole “I’ve received an important text” face, both girls were staring. Where are their parent’s?

“Do you have any girls? Have you got children?” First girl.

I’m sorry? Did she just ask me what I think? I looked helplessly towards the passenger next to me, who was playing the fool, but I know he heard every word.

“Am, no, not yet,” slightly flustered me.

“Well, when are you going to get some?” Second girl makes her voice heard.

Seriously, where are their parent’s?

“Am, I’m not sure. Not quite yet.”

Oh. My Word. This is more than embarrassing. Please get off at the next stop, please, please, please.

“Well are you going to get a boy or a girl?” Second girl pipes up again.

“Yeah, what are you getting, and can we name them?” First girl is super excited at the prospect.

Finally Mum shows her face. She’s sitting adjacent to her delightful daughters.

“Girls, leave the young lady alone.” Obviously used to this, Mum.

Phew, saved by the mother hen.

“When you get them, can we name them?” First girl asks again.

I can see the only way out of this is to play along. Reluctantly.

“Well what would you like to call them?” Cannot believe what I’m doing.

Now the guy next to me looks over. He’s just waiting for my downfall, I can sense it.

“Well, you’re probably going to have a girl,” first girl consults second girl.

“She’s going to be called, Sequin,” first girl announces.

“Sequin?!” I say a little too loudly.

Mum looks over, mouthing, “Sorry.” The guy next to me is sniggering. I’m left open-mouthed.

“Well, I’ll bear that in mind. Thank you girls.”

And with that, they carried on as if I’d never sat down. What a way to end the week. Red-faced, definitely not broody and wishing I’d missed the train.

Travelling with Tiffany’s

“Yes, can I have the number for Tiffany’s, Tiffany’s of Bond Street, Tiffany’s the jewellers?”

My ears immediately prick up. Not at the mention of Tiffany’s I hasten to add (I’ve always found their jewellery, dare I say it, slightly garish!) but I’m flabbergasted by the sheer volume with which this woman feels the need to announce the purpose of her call to 118 118 (other over-priced phone operator’s are available).

“Yes, you can connect me. Hello, is that Tiffany’s of Bond Street? Marvellous, I wonder if you can help, I’ve just purchased your 1837 18k gold ring, and may need to change the size. How do I go about doing such a thing?”

With this, the woman produces the unmistakable Tiffany turquoise bag, delves inside, removes said ring from its timeless little box and tries it on.

“I purchased the ring this morning but will need a slightly smaller size. It’s the 1837, 18k gold, one of your signature pieces. No, it’s not been worn. Do you have a courier service, direct to Tiffany’s?”

I catch the raising eyes of a fellow commuter.

“Of course, you’ll definitely have my details, I’m a regular customer. You could say my blood runs Tiffany blue. Ha ha.”

Ha ha indeed. And with that delightful image, I pick up my Asda carrier bag – such a delightful green – and continue on my journey home.