Strike One

(Or, the Blog of Wrath)

I’m cross. No, really, I am.

Part of this is down to today’s yet-another-Tube-strike, which in fairness don’t usually affect me. However, I had to go into London this afternoon to do an interview (more of which later) and this meant that yes, today it did affect me. It’s not actually that big a deal: I walk pretty much everywhere in central London–a legacy of being a student right in the middle–but what Tube strikes do is bring everyone up to the surface.

Seriously, you don’t realise how many people there are in the middle of the city at half-five in the afternoon, because on a normal day, most of them are about fifty feet below ground. But when there’s no Tube, they all emerge, blinking, wearing their trainers (awww, bless. It’s like they’re going off on a hike or something. Either that or they’re expecting an imminent mugging and think that speed is their best survival option) with no clue where they’re going. Whereupon their fellow grumpy Londoners (ie: me) trip over them, stumble about a bit and stomp off swearing profusely.

Which brings me to the Interview That Was Never Meant to Be. The plan was simple enough: meet in the British Museum, have a chat. All good.

No. Because the British Museum is closing early, thanks to the Tube strike (see point above. You know, the one about the swearing).

Fine: wait until eviction from the Museum looms, relocate to Starbucks. Discover we’re now next to the toilets, which have a twelve-mile long queue of tourists, all of whom didn’t get the chance to pee in the Museum and absolutely *must* do so now.

Again with the swearing, and again with the relocation–this time to a far distant table in the corner.

Ten minutes later, cue Lady With Broom (stage left): “Downstairs is now closed. Everyone must leave, kthxbai”. Or words to that effect.

More swearing–and at this point, my lovely interviewee and I looked at each other and agreed to call it a day. In all honesty, I’m slightly afraid of what’ll happen when I play the interview back (in its 3 sections. Christ). In all probability, the interview will have translated itself into Mongolian Throat Warbling or something.

Again: swearing. Copious swearing.

However, thanks are most definitely due to my long-suffering interviewee, Mike Carey, for being charm personified and having a sense of humour while mine was not just failing but flatlining. Not the easiest of circumstances, but he was incredibly patient, and for that I’m very grateful. I love his books, and if you’ve not read any of the Felix Castor series, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice: go and read one now. Hopefully the interview will find its way out into the Real World via the BFS sometime soon.

In the meantime, I find nothing solves a bad mood like a bit of Strictly Come Vader.

Who’d have thought the Sith could boogie like that?

Now, does anyone know where I can get a Mongolian Throat-Warbling to English dictionary? Just in case…



  1. Well, you don’t need to pour any petrol on my “London is shite” fire. Whatever way you look at it, there’s just too many people. Though it looked pretty all lit up first time I went around Christmas and the BFI Southbank is a genuine pleasure. But yeah, London, shite. Especially to a townie like myself.

    In regards to Mongolian throat warbling, don’t have a dictionary, however I went to a Monglian restaurant in Edinburgh the other week and I recommend you try some of that, then you probably won’t need a translation. It’ll work in the same way the Tardis does. Plus you get to sample some lovely food. (I recommend the wild boar)

    1. Don’t get me wrong: I love London. It’s why I’ve been here 12 years.

      What I don’t like is when the city, Bob bloody Crow, the tourists and even sodding Starbucks conspire to make my day such a complete farce.

      Oh, look: I alliterated! I told you I was cross. When I get *really* angry, I break into skaldic verse.

  2. Lou that sucks a million eggs, my year as a film student was peppered with incidents like that and I completely empathise with the swearing.

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