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Friday, July 16, 2004

Feeling Groovy

Well, I've burnt out ranting about London Underground, so it's time to move on to another target.
 
Yesterday I spent my entire lunch hour attempting to purchase an England Home shirt with "authentic" lettering from JJB sports for my niece's birthday present. I selected my shirt from the JJB store at The Plaza, Oxford Street, London, and queued up to pay for it (only half of the tills were manned). Then I joined the queue for shirt printing. There were 5 people in front of me in the queue and only one person doing the printing.
After 20 minutes I reached the front of the queue, handed over my shirt and requested my name and number, only to be told that the store was out of "E"s. Since the England UEFA Euro 2004 27 man squad was made up of James, Bridge, Campbell, Cole, Southgate, Woodgate, Neville, Neville, Terry, Walker, Cole, Beckham, Carragher, Scholes, Dyer, Gerrard, Hargreaves, Owen, Heskey, Vassell and Rooney whose names all include an "E", this leaves only Robinson, Kirkland, Butt and King (2 of which didn't actually play in the finals) available to customers.
 
On the way back from Oxford Street, I jumped on a 73 bus back to the office. They recently changed the bus stop at the start of Tottenham Court Road so that all the buses that go to Kings Cross now don't stop there but round the corner on Oxford Street. Obviously most of the passengers haven't noticed this, as they still stand at the wrong bus stop and wave their arms irately as the bus goes by, while those waiting to leave the bus have to wait until the next stop. That is, unless the bus slows down and they decide to jump off, as happened yesterday. A bunch of people decided to jump off as the bus slowed for the endless roadworks on TCR. The first few people made it, but the last lady was too slow and went sprawling along the road, while one of the successful dismounters stood by laughing her head off.
Many people say that this particular safety aspect of the old Routemasters is reason enough to take them out of service. I say it is natural selection in action (although I have to admit to doing the same thing some 17 years ago).
 
And finally... Just to prove that I'm not always complaining about things, I went to see Simon and Garfunkel last night. Well, I didn't so much go to see them as sit in the park next to where they were playing to a paying audience and watch the screens and listen to the music. I can't have had a much worse view than those in the back of the paying customers, although I couldn't actually see them on stage.
Now I'm not old enough to remember them from the first time around, but they bring back a memory of childhood car journeys and summertime. They played just about all their standards and had the Everly Brothers join them on stage for a few songs. As my wife pointed out, from that distance, they didn't look much different from 1966.


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