From A to B Via One Wheel

I’ve just been watching BBC One’s ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is’ where one of the specialists purchased a unicycle. It reminded me of a rather unusual commuter experience I had last year – enjoy:

As I walked across the iconic London Bridge, the mandatory sea of people greeted me. As repetitive as this can be, I’m always on the lookout for that standout commuter: an exquisite scarf adding a brief colour-pop to the grey mass, a head-bopping suited-and-booted type in a world of his own, the tie-around-neck “late for work” semi-jogging businessman or my personal fave, the unicycling dare devil! Yep, you read that correctly, unicycling dare devil.

At first, I couldn’t quite fathom the young man’s motion. Roller skates, skateboard, levitation? As he approached, and the reactions of those around him became more obvious, I could see he was travelling on a unicycle! My initial thought was, how incredibly dangerous! But I quickly saw he was not only very skilled (and loving the attention) but providing us commuters with such a novel experience that his impromptu method of transport would’ve cheered up even the bluest of Monday’s.

This got me thinking. If I could travel to work my any means possible, how would I do it? The obvious spring to mind: jet pack, helicopter, teleportation. But, I would absolutely love to be able to get from A to B by gigantic zip line! Oh come on, who wouldn’t want to fasten themselves up for the rush of a life-time, every morning? Imagine the views, the lack of congestion, the sheer thrill of it all.

If anyone fancies pooling their savings to create such a thing, please get in touch, I’m game it you are!

Have You Seen Any A.R.K Recently?

Acts of Random Kindness are few and far between. I have been pleasantly surprised by the A.R.K witnessed recently:

  • A bus driver saw a lady struggling with her shopping as she attempted to run to the bus stop; he deliberately pulled over, let her on and continued on his way
  • Train driver makes an impromptu announcement hoping everyone on board was safe during the recent storm 
  • Two teenage boys get up from their seats to assist an elderly gentleman struggling to alight the train 
  • A train conductor goes out of his way to explain to a Spanish tourist the best way – on foot – from Buckingham Palace to Oxford Street – diagram included!
  • A little girl compliments an exquisitely dressed lady on her “really pretty shoes” 
  • A young boy’s phone battery cuts out mid-conversation so the passenger next to him offers the use of her phone

See, us humans can be nice, it’s easier than you might think to brighten someone’s day. Go on, give it a try!

How to Nuke A Fish

It would appear the now ubiquitous TV cookery shows have taught us nothing. Please observe:

“Can you microwave a fish?” Mr Inquisitive.

“I’m sorry?” Mr Confused.

“Can you microwave a fish. How would it stay fresh tasting. Do you know?” Mr Inquisitive.

“Um, no. I have have no idea, mate,” Mr Confused.

It soon became apparent that the two men were unacquainted. Mainly by Mr Confused’s speedy attempt to find something interesting on his mobile phone.

“My wife doesn’t like microwaves. She won’t go near them,” Mr Inquisitive, “Do you know why?”

“I don’t. Why?” Mr Confused.

“She still thinks anyone who uses one will nuke themselves. She’s stuck in the old days,” Mr Inquisitive, “Well, I’ve bought us fish for dinner and I’m gonna try it out. I bet Nigella would know how to microwave a fish.”

“I’m sure she would,” Mr Confused, if a little amused.

I desperately wanted to hear the naturally logical outcome of this conversation, but alas, my stop was fast approaching. As I left the train, I could see Mr Inquisitive striking up another conversation with Mr Confused. Perhaps he was asking how to boil an egg. Now we all know, that’s one for Delia.

Somewhere Over the Rainbows (plural intentional)

There’s no denying it, the British weather has always proved fascinating to us natives. If we’re not talking about it (whether with genuine interest or as a means of small talk to get one out of an otherwise ‘awkward silence’ situation) we’re watching it: on TV, from the window of our home, car, work desk.   

After last night’s lashings of wind and rain (at one point I thought my fiancé had secretly fitted an open-air wet room to the kitchen – so much rain!) I was eager to see what, if any, damage had been done and what I could expect for the day ahead.  

Pleased to report all of our bins were still in tact, the neighbour’s chilli plant was still in its rightful place and the beautiful array of autumnal coloured leaves still on the tress – glorious. The forecast was mixed: “Another wet start to the day but sunshine for many of us this afternoon.” Hello brolly.

I’m quite a fan of rain as it happens; the after effects often so refreshing and calming. If I could bottle that ‘just rained’ smell it would be high on my fragrance list.    

As expected, my journey this morning was a little damp, but as my train left the station, a beautiful sight filled the window frame. Not one, but two rainbows! Rain may not be the most popular weather genres, but it certainly has its moments and this was definitely one of them. Enjoy!

 

Image

What’s that Smell?

“It’s heavenly. Can you smell it?” girl with stylish grey beanie.

“Yeah. I love it,” girl with immaculate French mani, “smells like turkish delight. Oh, I could just do with a bar of that.”

I consider myself to have a highly developed scent detector; perfumes are most definitely my thing (read previous post – 5th July 2013). But my nose was failing me on this one, no taste of the turkish from where I was sitting.

“I feel like I’m sitting in a sweet shop,” girl with stylish grey beanie.

Still nothing. I decided to decipher, by process of elimination, which fellow commuter was wearing this “heavenly” scent:

1. Mature lady with Selfridges bags in tow – she would wear a perfume with authority and strength – high floral notes would feature in her signature scent. Dior’s J’adore, perhaps?

2. Burberry brolly lady – Burberry Weekend, naturally. A loyal customer who knows her own mind.

3. Toe-tapping iPod teen – Nothing too detailed, a unisex Calvin Klein with a fruity kick, ck be, the ideal candidate.

I was out of potential wearers. But the scent was starting to reach me; subtle floral notes, palma violets and all things sugary sweet. I was also getting a sudden craving for a bar of turkish delight.

“Excuse me, do you mind if I ask what scent you’re wearing?” girl with immaculate French mani.

“Sorry, I’m miles away,” flabbergasted MOI! “Am, it’s Guerlian’s Insolence. One of my faves.”

“We love it. Thanks,” happy girl with immaculate French mani.

I cannot deny it, I left the train with a rather jolly spring in my step, leaving an invisible trail of all things sweetness and light. Two rather stylish young ladies were admiring MY scent. It’s nice to be the wearer, it’s usually me asking those kind of questions (still a little embarrassed I completely overlooked the fact that I was wearing the “heavenly” scent).

 

Insolence

 

 

Who Fancies Another Royal Wedding?

“It’s got to be her. One day she will be walking down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. You wait and see,” commuter A.

“Mmm, I’m going for her. More real-life, and that seems to appeal to them both. A sense of reality,” commuter B.

An article in this month’s Tatler magazine had definitely gripped the two ladies sitting opposite me. But I thought we knew who Harry was set to wed. Cressida Bonas, right?

“Do you think they planned it. The conception? commuter A.

“Ha, of course not. Well, I wouldn’t have thought so,” slightly hesitant commuter B.

Now I was getting confused; are we expecting another royal baby or a royal wedding, or both. How I longed for X-ray vision, or ‘Go Go Gadget eyes!’   

“If you and the other half get to it, maybe you’ll be the next grandma Middleton,” smug commuter B. 

“Alright, enough from you,” eyebrow-raising commuter B.

The ladies continued to scrutinise the pages, and as I left the train, I was able to sneak a peek at what they were reading. Finally it all made sense, a feature entitled: Who Will Marry Prince George? Of course! And who knows, perhaps I was sitting opposite a future royal grandma?

 

Is that an umbrella in your hand or are you just pleased to see me?

We’ve all been there, that unavoidable moment when our automatic umbrella unleashes its power without warning. Thankfully, my incident occurred in private. Knocking the release button as I packed by bag, I accidentally opened the umbrella into my stomach, and let me tell you, those things pack a punch! 

This evening’s bus journey was cold, damp and busy. The windows were condensed beyond belief and I was willing the traffic to move at the (safe) speed of light.

Passenger after passenger came and left; soaked to the skin. One young lady began to make her way to the exit door, her neon scarf catching my eye, as it appeared to bring the only colour-pop to this otherwise dull scene. As she stood at the door, there was a sudden jolt about her person, followed by a rather unexpected: “Ouch!”

“I am so sorry. It just went off. I am really, really sorry,” apologetic man.

I couldn’t quite work out what had happened. Had he trodden on her toe, beat her to the buzzer, perhaps? Slowly, it all fell into place.

It became apparent that the gentleman’s umbrella, now fully unfastened, had prematurely opened, into the young lady. Utterly embarrassing, but ever so slightly amusing.

The sheer suggestiveness of the whole incident had clearly caught not only my eye, but also my fellow passengers.

There’s a lesson for us all in this cautionary tale: Umbrella users beware; they are clearly weapons far, far beyond our control.