This is my Antarctica 2041 video application. I hope it shows you how passionate I am about joining the expedition, leading an extraordinary life and making a difference.
First blog article in 6 months – I was waiting for a good story. So how about the story of my upcoming Antarctic Expedition…
Being an individual of immense positivity and enthusiasm, I’ve taken it upon myself to sign up to pretty much every group and opportunity that has presented itself – in the last few months particularly. The crunch point came when I found myself applying to the (men’s) football team at work… I had to remind myself that actually, Harri, not only are you 1) female 2) extremely clumsy 3) fairly badly coordinated, you also don’t like football.
My consistent drive to get involved does have its benefits though. I am a 23 year old who has travelled all over the world and who has met some incredible people because I enjoy taking chances, experiencing everything and trying to make a difference. After all, what is the point to life if you can’t even improve the little bit of the world around you?
Being Harri, the little bit of the world around me just isn’t enough. I want to achieve more. Which is why when a poster for an expedition, run by the organization 2041 for the world’s future leaders, to travel to ‘the last great wilderness on earth’ popped up at work, I knew I was going to give it everything to get on that trip.
A few days later (now covered in felt tip pen from an application video that I drew…) I waited nervously to find out if I had made it on to the trip. Just a few days ago, I was selected!
A bit of background on 2041 and the expedition:
2041 is an organisation committed to promoting responsible leadership and the importance of sustainability. They are driven by a key goal – to allow Antarctica to remain ‘the last great wilderness on earth’. As part of a team of c 35 individuals, I and my friend Subash have been selected by the expedition leader Robert Swan OBE (the first man ever to walk to the North and South poles) to join his expedition. We will travel to southern and most fragile continent on earth to learn not only about the challenges Antarctica faces for survival but also how to shape ourselves as leaders of the future and to face our own personal challenges.
As you might expect, an experience of this magnitude comes at a cost. Our small team have raised a whopping £12,000 already but we still have £14,000 to go (oh and did I mention we only have T minus 2 months to raise it?). The key way to raise money like this will be through an auctioning off prizes and via sponsorship.
This is where I need your help!
Do you have anything you could contribute for a raffle or auction? It could be anything from a year’s supply of chocolate, a restaurant voucher, a ski trip or a week in a holiday home!
Sponsoring the 2041 expedition is an exciting endeavour for any company interested in making a positive impact and inspiring a generation.
There are many ways we can ‘activate’ sponsorship money – for all sponsors/provider of prizes, we will take their logo/flag/merchandize to Antarctica and take some fantastic photos – these will be seen by corporations and CEOs from all over the world. We can also organise talks for companies and schools and write articles for magazines or publications.
If you or your company is interested in sponsoring myself and Subash for the 2041 expedition please contact me at email@example.com or call me: 07833625550.
Looking down at the expanse of sand around my feet I could say with absolute certainty that my little tan handbag containing every valuable effect I owned was no longer present.
‘Erm, Becky’ I uttered with a little choke, ‘have you seen my bag? You know, the one I was just holding literally ten seconds ago?’ My voice had risen to more of a shrill shriek as I finished, ‘ the one with ALL my stuff in it?’ Becky had not seen it. Our group on the beach could not see it. The only person, one assumes, who could now see that bag was the fucker who had run off with it. JESUS CHRIST, it’s actually gone. ‘EVRYTHING IS IN THAT BAG!! MY PASSPORT, MY BANK CARD, ALL MY MONEY, MY PHONE, MY £400 CAMERA. HOLY FUCK!!!’
When faced with a situation of this severity, one always hopes you will have the maturity to think straight and clearly; to cope. Let me tell you now, you may as well just chuck that hope out of the window along with any other desire for dignity because when you’re thousands of miles from home on a Thai island, 500 miles from Bangkok and the nearest embassy, and the local police man is stoned off his face and doesn’t speak a word of English (although somehow manages to write down your statement – God only knows what it says) the ability to cope is on par with my ability to, say, fly an aeroplane with my big toe.
What I did instead was to hysterically hyperventilate and power off toward our hostel room in search of my emergency contact list. Now I don’t know if you have ever tried to sprint, whilst hyperventilating and crying, in flip-flops, but it’s rather a challenge. Having made it about 20 metres I managed to completely stack it in what I assume would have been a comical-to-the-onlooker type-way as I hurled forwards and splatted down on the concrete with a satisfying DOOSH, scraping my hands and knees in the process. Great. Now I’m hysterical, crying and fecking injured, plus probably being uploaded onto YouTube by an onlooker from their balcony even as I clamber up.
I soldier on in a not-very-heroic manner, now even more incensed, until I reach our room. I realise I don’t have the keys and that my friends are somewhere among the other 500 partiers on the beach looking for my bag. No time to turn back! I break in through the window with a simple push, (ah yes, THIS is why I didn’t leave my valuables in the room), smash the TV onto the floor but don’t glance over; I can’t deal with that right now, and frantically grab for my bag with my Dad’s contact number in it.
Let’s just take a moment to drift our minds over to the island of England and to my lovely parents, enjoying a nice healthy dinner in front of University Challenge and wondering how I’m getting on. They receive two calls from a number they don’t know, and then a call from my brother, who is in Cyprus, telling them to pick up because ‘Haz is trying to get through and all her stuff has been nicked… yeah her passport too… Ok seeya!’
I call again.
But no matter how mature or grown up you think you are, even at 22 years old, when you have to call your parents to tell them there has been a monumental fuck up and that all your valuables have been stolen, and that they need to cancel your phone and your card immediately and that you’re at the police station with a load of convicts who have been locked up for the night and it’s 3am, you feel like being back home in bed with them, having a big hug.
Poor Mum and Dad leap into action, totally stressed and worried, looking up flights to Thailand and Googling ‘what to do when your daughter is abducted’ because, naturally, that’s what’s going to happen next, while I ball my eyes out at the Thai police station on an island four hours from the mainland and wonder if I’m going to survive.
The good news is there is a moral to this story, a happy ending even. It is this: sometimes, life hits you with a big fucking club over the head and when that happens, yes, it feels like you have been hit by a bus travelling at 50 mph, but ultimately there are options and solutions and ways to deal with everything. The main point here was that no one had been hurt, alright I was in a foreign country with no passport or money, but I was alive and well apart from my throbbing hands and swelling knee. Luckily for me, I did have the help and support of my parents and friends who were able to transfer money to me and help me organise the situation over the next few days. Once the initial shock had passed, I realised it could have been a lot worse, my passport was even recovered the next day, so although I was stung, totally skint and pining after my camera, I had the next most important thing. After a few more days I was able to enjoy the trip, move on and make the most of being in an incredible country. What was a terrible ordeal became an experience, and it is these experiences that shape us, test us and make us who we are.
I would however offer the following words of advice (that I will also take heed of in future trips), to other budding and enthusiastic travellers who actually want to try and hold on to some of their important stuff.
- Never, ever, take your passport out with you, and if you absolutely HAVE to, ‘Sellotape it to your arse’ as my Dad would say. The best option is to try and lock it in a safe somewhere, but other that it’s just about using your initiative; if the hotel reception looks dodgy try and find a suitable spot in your room.
- Have a contact list for your family tucked away in your room or on your person so you can get in touch when it all goes pear shaped.
- Don’t take all your valuables out at once!! (God it seems so simple now). Have two cards and keep them in separate places, always have a separate chunk of emergency money and keep it somewhere subtle. Down your pants, for instance.
- Ultimately, you’ve got to be aware that nowhere is that safe, the worst could happen, but if you’re ready for it and know what to do you can get sorted and move on quickly.
- Don’t let this story stop you from travelling and never let a bad experience hinder you. Be prepared, deal with it and move on.
- Oh and take out some decent insurance. I lost about £700 worth of kit and was covered for…£30. Ouch.
So, lastly, you’re probably wondering, did it make me hate Thailand? You must be bloody joking. I’m already looking into booking my next flights! Be prepared, deal with it, and move on. Travel.
P.s sorry there aren’t any pictures with this post: some bastard nicked my camera.
I love London. I have had my whole life to explore this fantastic city steeped in history, amazing architecture, interesting museums, great food and excellent nightlife, and yet I am still finding hidden gems that fill me with delight on every adventure around the capital.
For many of my friends, now is the time that they are moving into the big city, drawn by the excitement that London can offer and, more importantly, the unyielding desire to spend more time with me! Bearing this in mind, I thought it was only fair that I shared some of my favourite spots with those special few who read my blog. Enjoy!
Love it, love it, love it. If you haven’t been then you absolutely have to go to Borough Market. It’s London’s most renowned food market, so if you’re looking to get fresh fruit and veg or other exotic foodie bits and bobs, there’s probably no better place in the city. For a day out, head over early and indulge in the hot chocolatey goodness of Rabot Estate – the chocolate cafe and shop. At lunch time, head to Roast for, well, a roast (but the best one you have ever had – they also do an amazing breakfast menu), or try Applebee’s Fish Restaurant, they do a delicious Garlic Prawn Wrap that you can grab from outside; dining in is a tad pricy. For after-eats coffee Monmouth is the place to go. I am not a coffee drinker but have been told this is the best coffee in London and if you fancy buying a bag to take home, the Guatemalan blend is supposedly delectable. Nearest tube: London Bridge.
Covent Garden and The Royal Opera House
There is something delightful about wandering around the cobbled streets of Covent Garden on a warm summer’s evening whilst the booming voice of an opera singer resonates from the Royal Opera House. The Covent Garden Market operates on most days, with the weekends being particularly busy. Keep an eye out for the food market which comes to town in the summer months – we sat on the pavement edge sipping champagne from the oyster bar and nibbling juicy olives before a trip to the theatre last time. For food, head to Navajo Joe; a buzzing Mexican restaurant with an extensive cocktail list and great atmosphere situated just off the main square. I also have it on excellent authority that Bill’s is THE place to go if you’re in town at brunch time. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, funnily enough.
Another historical gem, Hays Galleria is a beautiful old wharf which was used during the nineteenth century as one of the chief delivery points for ships bringing tea and other dry goods to London. The site underwent a massive regeneration in the 1980’s and is now a stunning place to enjoy after work drinks or a delicious dinner. For food, I recommend Cote Brasserie which has been rated the ‘best value restaurant in Britain’. The Cote restaurants are sprinkled all over the capital but there happens to be one at the end of Hays Galleria right on the waterfront and the food is truly delicious. For drinks, head to the Horniman for a traditional English pub feel. After your feast, be sure to take a wander along the waterfront past the HMS Belfast and toward Tower Bridge; views not to be missed. P.S – this would make an excellent date. Nearest tube: London Bridge.
If you have no better reason for going, go because the door to Diagon Alley is here. However if you’re not a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I’d still recommend a trip there for lunch, tea or general perusing. Leadenhall is a really beautiful market. At Christmas time the market is buzzing and there are lots of lovely events to get you in the festive mood from carol singing around the enormous Christmas tree to mulled wine tasting and seasonal markets. If you’re there on a weekday the place will be teaming with executives in expensive suits drinking beer and gaining a few pounds, so a weekend or evening may be a better time to enjoy the scenery. Nearest tube: Bank or Monument.
The Northcote Road
The Northcote Road is in situated in Clapham and is easily accessible from the main station. Ok, it’s sort-of teeming with yummy mummies and baby shops, but it’s also a very pretty street and a great place for breakfast, brunch or a sunny lunch sat on a table outside one of the many cute cafes the street offers. If you fancy getting out of the main city, or just want to potter about all day in boutiquey shops looking for a nice gift or copious amounts of bunting, this is the place to go. Nearest station: Clapham Junction
I adore Soho. An area of London that is constantly buzzing with eccentric individuals, quirky bars and cute restaurants, and it’s situated a stone’s throw away from the Oxford Street shops – what’s not to love?! Dean Street, Greek St and Wardour St are packed with great food outlets and nice bars; plus the Hummingbird Bakery… need I go on? If you’re walking from these roads toward Regent Street, a stop in the wonderful Tudor building Liberty’s is essential. Then, wander down Carnaby Street and finish in Kingley Court: a three-storey courtyard at the end of the street which is home to lots of little boutiquey stores and a lovely cupcake shop. Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road or Oxford Circus.
The streets of Shad Thames are cobbled and dark; even spooky at times, yet it is a fascinating area of the city. This is true Dickensian territory so literature fans will be in heaven. Shad Thames is teeming with nice bars, good restaurants and is right next to the river so excellent views are guaranteed. Take a stroll down from London Bridge or wander over Tower Bridge and take a left from the North Bank. Nearest tube: London Bridge.
Shaftsbury Avenue and China Town
This is prime tourist town so I know I’m not revealing anything ground-breakingly new, but this area of London is pretty special, whatever time you visit. It could be 3am on a cold winter’s night and you would still find the streets around Leicester Square teeming with tourists and party-goers enjoying central London life. You don’t have to go to the theatre, but take a walk down Shaftsbury Avenue and bask in the excitement of theatre-land. Then, head over to China Town and dive in to one of the hot and steamy restaurants for dim sum or a buffet feast. I can highly recommend Plum Valley Fine Dining if you’re looking for somewhere elegant and a bit special. For a blow-out feast, and the best Chinese in London, you’ll need to go to Michelin-Starred Hakkasan off the Tottenham Court Road. I’d start saving now if this takes your fancy. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus.
I really didn’t know very much about East London until I had the pleasure of attending a wedding in Spitalfields in the summer. The area is really buzzing, so don’t be put off by the stereotyped skinny-jeaned, ray-ban-wearing, artsy people swanning about making you feel extremely un-cool. I’m not denying these people exist, I’m just saying the place is so nice you should definitely go anyway. The market is open from Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm and on Sundays from 9am-5pm. Look out for great food and quirky gifts, and be sure to pop in to the original AllSaints whilst you’re in the area. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street.
St Katherine Docks
Plonked right next to Tower Bridge on the North Bank are the beautiful St Katherine Docks. For a wonderful place to spend a summer’s evening head over here to meander across the bridges and gaze at the glamorous boats, then dip into one of the cute restaurants or head to The Dickens Inn – an 18th century pub named after Charles Dickens and his grandson (who owns the pub) Cedric. This side of London is steeped in history and the Docks certainly have a Dickensian feel to them. Nearest tube: Tower Hill or take the lovely walk from London Bridge.
Bankside and Shakespeare’s Globe
The stretch of river from London Bridge down to Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern is lovely. The waterfront is lined with nice restaurants and coffee shops with outdoor seating, and the area is generally buzzing with workers and tourists enjoying the location and views down the Thames. Being an English graduate, I’m keen to suggest people try and get tickets to see something at the Globe; it is a fascinating experience to see a play at this historical theatre, even if you’re not a big Shakespeare fan, plus the tickets are generally very reasonably priced. Tate Modern is equally interesting, the majority of it is free to enter and it is always packed with thought-provoking art work to get your brain working. Time to conceptualise darling. Nearest tube: London Bridge.
That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’ll update as and when I stumble across somewhere extra special. Please feel free to comment on your hidden gems and favourite haunts in London; as you can tell, I’m always keen to try new spots in the best city on earth!
Images: Google Images
‘Lily’s Scones’ by Nigella Lawson in the deliciously divine cookbook How To Be A Domestic Goddess are, quite simply, the best scones you will ever eat.
For a delightful little Valentine’s idea, why not make them heart-shaped and serve for a special breakfast with smoked salmon and poached eggs or pop one in your partner’s lunchbox with a little pot of jam and cream. Aww.
Remember the key to great scones is ‘less is more’, so don’t overdo the mixing.
You will need
500g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
4 1/2 Tsp Cream of Tartar (you’ll find this next to the Bicarbonate of Soda in the supermarket)
75g cold Butter
300ml Organic (preferably) Milk
1 Large Egg
How to make
Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7.
Mix together the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and cream of tartar, then, add the cold butter and rub together until you have a sandy consistency.
Next, make a well in the middle of the sandy mixture and add in the milk all at once. Mix briefly (briefly being the key word here) and then turn out on to a floured surface. Knead the mixture lightly until you have once piece of dough then roll out until it is about 3cm wide.
For Valentines scones use a heart-shaped cutter, if not, a normal pastry cutter will be perfect. Cut the dough using the cutter and place the scones on a baking tray. Re roll dough to get more scones from the off cuts.
Lightly whisk the large egg in a bowl and then brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
Pop in the oven for 10 mins then serve warm topped off with real, proper, organic clotted cream that comes from somewhere lovely like Devon and homemade strawberry jam. Delectable.
Amongst the winter chill and sprinkles of snow, you’ll find love in the air as Valentine’s Day 2012 approaches, and if you haven’t already, it is definitely time to start planning how to celebrate.
Personally, I think dining in on Valentine’s is the way forward, followed by a nice meal-out later in the week; thus avoiding the ridiculous Val Day prices and smooching couples on every table.
I’ve put together a little Valentine’s Day menu to give you love birds some yummy ideas made to impress on the 14th of Feb. Salivating is compulsory.
— Beautiful Breakfast in Bed —
**If you’re not comfortable poaching eggs like a pro you can buy silicone egg poachers on Amazon or in your local cook shop/supermarket.
— Lovingly Packed Lunch —
You might also want to pop a few heart-shaped chocs in the lunch box for good measure!
— And to Drink… —
Before dinner drinks
A nice bottle of Prosecco
After dinner drinks
Recipes and images from GoodFood, scones by Nigella Lawson
I do not, by any means, claim to be an agony aunt – a love guru – a relationship genius. However, I am in a relationship, and have had ones previously, so I feel I’m at least a little qualified to discuss the following topic…
Shitty boyfriends. (Don’t worry Chris! This article isn’t about you.)
I have some beautiful friends, both inside and out. Whilst having dinner with one of them last night, we stumbled upon the topic of her and her love life. Perhaps you’ll be able to empathise with her situation:
Lauren (name changed in case shitty boyfriend reads this) has been in an on/off relationship for around 4 years. During this time, she and this man have had a series of ‘breaks’. Lauren is smitten with the guy, she absolutely loves him and cannot, as much as she tries to, seem to break away from that feeling. She has no idea what she would do without him and so every time they take time apart, they inevitably come back to each other – they make up, think things are great, start to argue and go ‘on a break’ again.
It is like Lauren has a spell over her that she cannot break, and no matter how badly shitty boyfriend treats her, when he says or does nice things, all is forgiven. Lauren has never met her boyfriend’s friends, and her boyfriend never wants to meet Lauren’s. Their relationship is very insular and, by the sounds of it, pretty unhealthy.
Most recently, shitty boyfriend decided he was unhappy, that he wanted another ‘break’, a chance to ‘figure out what he wants’ in life. Lauren is now confused, does this guy just not want to be with her? How many breaks can a couple have?
I asked her the following questions: Firstly, what even is a ‘break’ and does it actuallyachieve anything do you think? Secondly, do you see your future with this guy? Not the idealised partner you wish/hope he would be, but the reality of what you know him to be. Thirdly, does he worship the ground you walk on?
To the first question, she really didn’t have an answer. I suggested this; breaks are a waste of bloody time. Either you want to be together, or you don’t. Every relationship has issues, arguments, disagreements – these are often healthy, in moderation. But ultimately, as pissed off as you are, you should still love your partner, still want to make up and be together. If you are waring on each other, time apart can be healthy, but most important of all is working through things – or taking a step back and realising you’re just not right for each other. A ‘break’ is a way to do what you want whilst still owning the other person. It leaves people confused and it solves nothing.
To the second question, she said ‘well… yessss’ in an unsure tone, so I clarified about the reality rather than the dream, to which she said no. No, she could not see her future with this man, who treats her badly and has no idea how much she loves and cares for him, even worse – he actually takes these feelings for granted.
To the final question, the answer was a sad, but resounding no. Lauren has a family like mine – she has grown up with a father who adores her mother and a mother who loves him back. She has seen real love and how much a man can care about a woman and she can say categorically that he does not feel this way about her. This concerns me more than anything because if he isn’t crazy about you now, he might never be. Lauren is a sweet, loving girl. She cares about people and she wants her parter to care back. She will never be happy with anything less and to be honest, who would be. Women – if you are in a predicament like Lauren ask yourselves these questions, and if you get the same answers as she did, I think you have to see the relationship isn’t good for you.
Now I realise I’ve painted a horrible picture of this man, and I’m not exactly sorry (he is hurting one of my best friends) but I think it’s also important to note that people don’t always realise how they’re behaving, or how much they are hurting someone. This guy may look back in a couple of years and think, ‘bugger, I really screwed that up, what an idiot’. He is young, he doesn’t know what he wants – that’s fair, who really knows that in their 20′s anyway – who really knows that at any stage. But ultimately, if he cares about Lauren at all, he needs to let her go because he is not good for her, and clearly at this point in his life, she is not right for him.
For Lauren, I came to the following conclusion: you need to have a bit more respect for yourself – as a nice girl, as a woman, as someone who wants a happy future. She knows that if she stepped out of her life and looked down, she would be telling herself to get out. Well life is short, and if you can tell yourself that then why the hell are you wasting time?
Get out – do something to break away from this life you’ve known; I was in the same predicament as Lauren until I went travelling and realised life didn’t have to be like that. Ok, travelling isn’t for everyone, but you have to find your escape and stick to it. And just ignoring his calls isn’t going to cut it. I hope you have the strength to follow this advice, Lauren, and I hope other women in this situation can have more respect for themselves – start living YOUR lives. Finally, there are some wonderful men in the world: don’t give up.
Christmas decorations are so expensive, and you can rarely find what you actually want. I’ve been being a domestic goddess all day and have created these little beauties all-by-myself! Each heart took about half an hour to make and they look really sweet. They’d make great hand made gifts and will look extremely cute on the tree this year.
Here’s how I did it:
- Cut a heart shape out of a piece of cardboard to use as a stencil
- Fold your material in half and draw around the stencil, then cut out so you have two heart shapes
- Sew the sides together inside out, leaving space for the stuffing and to sew on the ribbon
- Turn the heart inside out, so you now have a neat edge and the pretty side of the material facing you
- Put in the stuffing – I used a bit of a torn up old dress but if you want to be posh you can buy proper stuff
- Sew the ribbon on to the inside of the heart, then sew up the hole
- Get a bit of thick-ish ribbon and tie it into a small bow, then sew onto the front of the heart
- Sew a small pearl onto the knot of the ribbon, sit back and appreciate your excellent handiwork
I brought my material from www.MyFabricHouse.co.uk
Total Cost: about 50p per decoration
I am a huge Nigel Slater fan and have been avidly following his cooking programme on BBC1. I made this recipe myself the other day and it was really delicious, pretty easy to make and it looked very impressive.
3 small bird’s-eye chillies
4 cloves garlic
a lump of ginger the size of your thumb
2 plump stalks lemongrass
a good handful coriander leaves
a little vegetable oil
500ml/1pt chicken or vegetable stock
400ml/14fl oz coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
the juice of half a lime
200g raw king prawns, frozen
100g/4oz dried noodles, cooked as it says on the packet
a large handful mint leaves
What to do
- Chop the chillies, removing the seeds if you wish, peel the garlic and ginger and chop roughly. Put them all into a food processor. Discard the outer leaves of the lemongrass and roughly chop the inner leaves. Shred the lime leaves and add them all to the chillies with the coriander stems and half of the leaves. Blitz them to a pulp, adding a little vegetable oil if the mixture needs it to go round.
- Place a fairly deep pan over a moderate heat, add half the spice paste (keep the other half in the fridge for tomorrow) and fry it, moving it around the pan so it does not scorch. Do this for a minute or two, then pour in the stock and the coconut milk and bring to the boil.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add them to the soup with the fish sauce and lime juice. They will take about seven minutes to cook. Add the prawns – they are cooked when they take on a pink colour. Chop up the remaining coriander leaves and add to the sauce.
- Now to serve, put a swirl of noodles in each of four bowls, pour over the sauce and add the chopped mint at the last second for a bit of freshness.
For the last 4 months, I have submerged myself into the commuter lifestyle, jostling about London with a million other people trying to get from A to B. Previous experience has taught me that commuting can be incredibly stressful and particularly unenjoyable. Personally, however, I don’t really want to spend 2-4 hours of my life each day being pissed off at public transport and everyone around me, so I have devised a cunning strategy.
I call it Tube and Train Etiquette. To clarify: I see tubes and trains as rather interesting in that there are particular social etiquettes which have to be adhered to. Have you ever seen how angry people get when one doesn’t MOVE DOWN INSIDE THE TRAIN? This very incident occurred the other day, leaving a business man standing on the platform unable to board his morning train to work at East Croydon. Annoying, I agree. But this man was so utterly incensed he chased the train down the platform on departure, screaming, hitting the windows and giving the passengers in the carriage the two fingers. I thought it was rather amusing.
When I feel upset, squashed into an overcrowded, overheated tube with other upset, angry people pushing and shoving, I like to imagine all the unacceptable things one could do to really mix things up.
Thus I have devised a list of 20 unacceptable things to do on a tube or train, starting with the slightly weird/annoying and advancing to utterly inappropriate.
- Saying hello when you sit down next to someone in the carriage
- Making conversation of any sort is generally frowned upon, unless it is a) to moan about a fellow unruly passenger or b) if you fall over and need to laugh about it
- Reading someone’s Metro over their shoulder
- Giving your bag a CHAIR OF IT’S OWN – this really gets people riled up
- Reading a text over someone’s shoulder… and even worse, then commenting on it ‘Ohh my! He DIDN’T!’
- Eyeballing the Metro of the person opposite you – I haven’t finished with it yet and NO, you can’t have it
- Sleeping on your neighbours shoulder – awkward for everyone when you wake up snuggled in
- Sitting right next to someone in an empty carriage
- Subtly sliding someone’s Metro out of their hands whilst they are still reading it
- Looking right at someone and holding their gaze, this makes people VERY uncomfortable – people on trains always look down, quick peek up, then down again
- Opening up a bag of crisps and then offering them around the carriage ‘Crisp, anyone?’
- Offering your carriage neighbour a bite of your baguette
- Telling someone how VERY many calories there are in what they’re eating
- Sitting opposite someone on a train, and casually slipping your iPod charger into their USB port. I would really enjoy seeing the look on someone’s face when, buh dum, ‘Harriet’s Ipod’ pops up on their screen
- On a crowded tube, popping your hands round the commuter you’re wedged against for a hug
- Standing cock-in-face to the poor passenger sitting down on the crowded train, and then thrusting
- You know when the train is full, and everyone is clinging on to that one pole for dear life… laying your hand on someone else’s and not moving it
- Reading your metro, whilst someone else is clearly eyeing it up, and ripping every page after you have finished with it so they can’t have it
- Taking a sip of your oppositions Starbucks, just subtly, and then popping it back down like nothing happened
- Rummaging around in your bag, emerging with a pillow, popping it on your neighbours lap and nuzzling in for a kip
Got any additions for the list? I’d love to hear them! Comment below, tweet me or email me!