an eye for the mundane

Monthly Archives: September 2003

i wanted to log my journey so got my camera out to take a picture of the stewardesses doing their safety demonstration.
it had all started nicely with the captain saying “you may think this is boring, and indeed it is very boring, but would you please want the safety demonstration for your own safety”. i notice he didn’t say deadly boring. i would have if i had been the captain.
anyway, a very scarey tall chap with camoflage trousers was sitting next to me. he looked like a paramilitary chap who took the Territorial Army very seriously. (he had been to Berlin before for a party, but didn’t get to see the town so was returning to stay with his american friend for 10 days it later transpired).
anyway, he looked at me with camera in hand and said “you aren’t allowed to do that. no electronic devices on the plane. it intereferes with the planes’ computers”.
i paniced slightly and didn’t know whether i should just take the photo anyway. i decided not to.
but it did give me a little confidence that he wasn’t going to blow up the plane as he obviously didn’t want us to crash because of my (award winning) photographic exploits.
however, i did manage to unconvince myself of that fact by suggesting to myself that he probably wanted to blow the airplane up over the North Sea or something. or hijack us whilst keeping us all alive to really scare us.

i don’t like flying at all. but i put on a brave face.
my seat this evening was next to the emergency exit, and because of the layout of the plane I was on the emergency exit route. In fact, as pointed out by the stewardess, i was responsible for operating the emergency exit in an emergency.
i had little training but took the responsibilty very seriously. it appeared i would need to slide a little window down, pull a handle and remove the complete door unit. i was ready. luckily i didn’t need to go through with it. though i was ready for a drill at 5,000 feet.
I was thinking about opening it a jar whilst we were going on to get a nice breeze going through. however, they have nice little screens on the planes showing where you are and wind speed etc. one of them said it was -20degC outside so i decided to keep the door shut.
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heathrow express is very expensive. man in my carriage couldnt talk without walking. he wore carpet out with a mobile phone conversation
accidentally pushed in front of a load of angry wheelchair users in burger king. luckily my server was so slow they got served quicker anyway.
plane tails are circling like shark fins. 30mins to take off

i love post offices. they are dark, hot, stinky and full of old people collecting their pension. well maybe that’s an exageration, but they are a special type of shop.
the people who work in them are good value though. i was sent back and forward 3 times to get my E111 form.
“you haven’t filled that bit in sir”
“i know, it’s not clear what i have to do”
“yes it is sir, now go over there and fill it in”
my favourite bits are the pigeon holes for all the forms and leaflets. these things have been around since the 70s and look like it too.
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usually when you see a bag you see the outside. some people are priviledged to see the inside too.
it seems to me that most of travelling is about looking inside things. they can see inside your mind now before you get on a plane. that little archway thing you go through next to the x-ray machines. that’s the mind reader.
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here is my bag being scanned by the left luggage office in Paddington. i asked if i could get in the machine so he could take a picture of me in the monitors, but he refused. i imagine he gets asked that all the time.

i love satsumas. it’s what christmas is all about (sort of). we are not quite in season yet, so i expected prices to be slightly inflated.
but, my goodness:
‘tesco unbeatable offers – two for £3.’
I suspect it’s the definition of the word “unbeatable” which is at question here
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refer to people as ‘kid’ when you talk to them. this works especially well if they are older or more senior than you. here are some hand picked examples:
“did you get my email kid ?”
“can i take next week off as leave please kid”
“your false teeth have just fallen out kid”
“no kidding, pick up your kid’s kid kid ”
(this last one is ideal if you are trying to convince your friend that you actually do want them to carry your daughter’s young goat).

i’m always interested in things parked in car parking spaces. this tennis ball has pulled up rather far from the kerb and is not officially in a parking space.
‘tennis ball’ is a neat was of avoiding the congestion charge as I think it’s in the exempt category.
there are two ways of travelling by tennis ball:
1) stand on top and run backwards, thus propelling yourself and the ball forward
2) lie flat with the tennis ball under you. pull yourself along with your hands with all your weight resting on the tennis ball. when the ball has reached the end of your body then either replace it yourself higher up your body or get a travelling companion to help.
method 2) is slightly more complicated, and because it leads to a slower method of travel, is probably best avoided on public roads.
my advice is stick to the pavement (stand on some chewing gum)
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